196.012 Definitions.—For the purpose of this chapter, the following terms are defined as follows, except where the context clearly indicates otherwise:
(1) “Exempt use of property” or “use of property for exempt purposes” means predominant or exclusive use of property owned by an exempt entity for educational, literary, scientific, religious, charitable, or governmental purposes, as defined in this chapter.
(2) “Exclusive use of property” means use of property solely for exempt purposes. Such purposes may include more than one class of exempt use.
(3) “Predominant use of property” means use of property for exempt purposes in excess of 50 percent but less than exclusive.
(4) “Use” means the exercise of any right or power over real or personal property incident to the ownership of the property.
(5) “Educational institution” means a federal, state, parochial, church, or private school, college, or university conducting regular classes and courses of study required for eligibility to certification by, accreditation to, or membership in the State Department of Education of Florida, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, or the Florida Council of Independent Schools; a nonprofit private school the principal activity of which is conducting regular classes and courses of study accepted for continuing postgraduate dental education credit by a board of the Division of Medical Quality Assurance; educational direct-support organizations created pursuant to ss. 1001.24, 1004.28, and 1004.70; facilities located on the property of eligible entities which will become owned by those entities on a date certain; and institutions of higher education, as defined under and participating in the Higher Educational Facilities Financing Act.
(6) Governmental, municipal, or public purpose or function shall be deemed to be served or performed when the lessee under any leasehold interest created in property of the United States, the state or any of its political subdivisions, or any municipality, agency, special district, authority, or other public body corporate of the state is demonstrated to perform a function or serve a governmental purpose which could properly be performed or served by an appropriate governmental unit or which is demonstrated to perform a function or serve a purpose which would otherwise be a valid subject for the allocation of public funds. For purposes of the preceding sentence, an activity undertaken by a lessee which is permitted under the terms of its lease of real property designated as an aviation area on an airport layout plan which has been approved by the Federal Aviation Administration and which real property is used for the administration, operation, business offices and activities related specifically thereto in connection with the conduct of an aircraft full service fixed base operation which provides goods and services to the general aviation public in the promotion of air commerce shall be deemed an activity which serves a governmental, municipal, or public purpose or function. Any activity undertaken by a lessee which is permitted under the terms of its lease of real property designated as a public airport as defined in s. 332.004(14) by municipalities, agencies, special districts, authorities, or other public bodies corporate and public bodies politic of the state, a spaceport as defined in s. 331.303, or which is located in a deepwater port identified in s. 403.021(9)(b) and owned by one of the foregoing governmental units, subject to a leasehold or other possessory interest of a nongovernmental lessee that is deemed to perform an aviation, airport, aerospace, maritime, or port purpose or operation shall be deemed an activity that serves a governmental, municipal, or public purpose. The use by a lessee, licensee, or management company of real property or a portion thereof as a convention center, visitor center, sports facility with permanent seating, concert hall, arena, stadium, park, or beach is deemed a use that serves a governmental, municipal, or public purpose or function when access to the property is open to the general public with or without a charge for admission. If property deeded to a municipality by the United States is subject to a requirement that the Federal Government, through a schedule established by the Secretary of the Interior, determine that the property is being maintained for public historic preservation, park, or recreational purposes and if those conditions are not met the property will revert back to the Federal Government, then such property shall be deemed to serve a municipal or public purpose. The term “governmental purpose” also includes a direct use of property on federal lands in connection with the Federal Government’s Space Exploration Program or spaceport activities as defined in s. 212.02(22). Real property and tangible personal property owned by the Federal Government or Space Florida and used for defense and space exploration purposes or which is put to a use in support thereof shall be deemed to perform an essential national governmental purpose and shall be exempt. “Owned by the lessee” as used in this chapter does not include personal property, buildings, or other real property improvements used for the administration, operation, business offices and activities related specifically thereto in connection with the conduct of an aircraft full service fixed based operation which provides goods and services to the general aviation public in the promotion of air commerce provided that the real property is designated as an aviation area on an airport layout plan approved by the Federal Aviation Administration. For purposes of determination of “ownership,” buildings and other real property improvements which will revert to the airport authority or other governmental unit upon expiration of the term of the lease shall be deemed “owned” by the governmental unit and not the lessee. Providing two-way telecommunications services to the public for hire by the use of a telecommunications facility, as defined in s. 364.02(15), and for which a certificate is required under chapter 364 does not constitute an exempt use for purposes of s. 196.199, unless the telecommunications services are provided by the operator of a public-use airport, as defined in s. 332.004, for the operator’s provision of telecommunications services for the airport or its tenants, concessionaires, or licensees, or unless the telecommunications services are provided by a public hospital.
(7) “Charitable purpose” means a function or service which is of such a community service that its discontinuance could legally result in the allocation of public funds for the continuance of the function or service. It is not necessary that public funds be allocated for such function or service but only that any such allocation would be legal.
(8) “Hospital” means an institution which possesses a valid license granted under chapter 395 on January 1 of the year for which exemption from ad valorem taxation is requested.
(9) “Nursing home” or “home for special services” means an institution which possesses a valid license under chapter 400 on January 1 of the year for which exemption from ad valorem taxation is requested.
(10) “Gross income” means all income from whatever source derived, including, but not limited to, the following items, whether actually owned by or received by, or not received by but available to, any person or couple: earned income, income from investments, gains derived from dealings in property, interest, rents, royalties, dividends, annuities, income from retirement plans, pensions, trusts, estates and inheritances, and direct and indirect gifts. Gross income specifically does not include payments made for the medical care of the individual, return of principal on the sale of a home, social security benefits, or public assistance payments payable to the person or assigned to an organization designated specifically for the support or benefit of that person.
(11) “Totally and permanently disabled person” means a person who is currently certified by two licensed physicians of this state who are professionally unrelated, by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs or its predecessor, or by the Social Security Administration, to be totally and permanently disabled.
(12) “Couple” means a husband and wife legally married under the laws of any state or territorial possession of the United States or of any foreign country.
(13) “Real estate used and owned as a homestead” means real property to the extent provided in s. 6(a), Art. VII of the State Constitution, but less any portion thereof used for commercial purposes, with the title of such property being recorded in the official records of the county in which the property is located. Property rented for more than 6 months is presumed to be used for commercial purposes.
(14) “Renewable energy source device” or “device” means any of the following equipment which, when installed in connection with a dwelling unit or other structure, collects, transmits, stores, or uses solar energy, wind energy, or energy derived from geothermal deposits:
(a) Solar energy collectors.
(b) Storage tanks and other storage systems, excluding swimming pools used as storage tanks.
(d) Thermostats and other control devices.
(e) Heat exchange devices.
(f) Pumps and fans.
(g) Roof ponds.
(h) Freestanding thermal containers.
(i) Pipes, ducts, refrigerant handling systems, and other equipment used to interconnect such systems; however, conventional backup systems of any type are not included in this definition.
(k) Wind-driven generators.
(l) Power conditioning and storage devices that use wind energy to generate electricity or mechanical forms of energy.
(m) Pipes and other equipment used to transmit hot geothermal water to a dwelling or structure from a geothermal deposit.
(15) “New business” means:
(a)1. A business establishing 10 or more jobs to employ 10 or more full-time employees in this state, which manufactures, processes, compounds, fabricates, or produces for sale items of tangible personal property at a fixed location and which comprises an industrial or manufacturing plant;
2. A business establishing 25 or more jobs to employ 25 or more full-time employees in this state, the sales factor of which, as defined by s. 220.15(5), for the facility with respect to which it requests an economic development ad valorem tax exemption is less than 0.50 for each year the exemption is claimed; or
3. An office space in this state owned and used by a corporation newly domiciled in this state; provided such office space houses 50 or more full-time employees of such corporation; provided that such business or office first begins operation on a site clearly separate from any other commercial or industrial operation owned by the same business.
(b) Any business located in an enterprise zone or brownfield area that first begins operation on a site clearly separate from any other commercial or industrial operation owned by the same business.
(c) A business that is situated on property annexed into a municipality and that, at the time of the annexation, is receiving an economic development ad valorem tax exemption from the county under s. 196.1995.
(16) “Expansion of an existing business” means:
(a)1. A business establishing 10 or more jobs to employ 10 or more full-time employees in this state, which manufactures, processes, compounds, fabricates, or produces for sale items of tangible personal property at a fixed location and which comprises an industrial or manufacturing plant; or
2. A business establishing 25 or more jobs to employ 25 or more full-time employees in this state, the sales factor of which, as defined by s. 220.15(5), for the facility with respect to which it requests an economic development ad valorem tax exemption is less than 0.50 for each year the exemption is claimed; provided that such business increases operations on a site colocated with a commercial or industrial operation owned by the same business, resulting in a net increase in employment of not less than 10 percent or an increase in productive output of not less than 10 percent.
(b) Any business located in an enterprise zone or brownfield area that increases operations on a site colocated with a commercial or industrial operation owned by the same business.
(17) “Permanent resident” means a person who has established a permanent residence as defined in subsection (18).
(18) “Permanent residence” means that place where a person has his or her true, fixed, and permanent home and principal establishment to which, whenever absent, he or she has the intention of returning. A person may have only one permanent residence at a time; and, once a permanent residence is established in a foreign state or country, it is presumed to continue until the person shows that a change has occurred.
(19) “Enterprise zone” means an area designated as an enterprise zone pursuant to s. 290.0065. This subsection expires on the date specified in s. 290.016 for the expiration of the Florida Enterprise Zone Act.
(20) “Ex-servicemember” means any person who has served as a member of the United States Armed Forces on active duty or state active duty, a member of the Florida National Guard, or a member of the United States Reserve Forces.
History.—s. 1, ch. 71-133; s. 1, ch. 72-367; s. 1, ch. 73-340; s. 14, ch. 74-234; s. 13, ch. 76-234; s. 1, ch. 77-447; s. 6, ch. 80-163; s. 1, ch. 80-347; s. 2, ch. 81-219; s. 85, ch. 81-259; s. 9, ch. 82-119; s. 29, ch. 84-356; s. 1, ch. 88-102; s. 45, ch. 91-45; s. 87, ch. 91-112; s. 1, ch. 91-121; s. 1, ch. 91-196; s. 3, ch. 92-167; s. 58, ch. 92-289; s. 9, ch. 93-132; s. 3, ch. 93-233; s. 61, ch. 93-268; s. 67, ch. 94-136; ss. 59, 66, ch. 94-353; s. 1472, ch. 95-147; s. 4, ch. 95-404; s. 3, ch. 97-197; s. 25, ch. 97-255; s. 2, ch. 97-294; s. 109, ch. 99-251; s. 11, ch. 99-256; s. 29, ch. 2001-79; s. 2, ch. 2002-183; s. 907, ch. 2002-387; s. 20, ch. 2003-32; s. 1, ch. 2005-42; s. 20, ch. 2005-132; s. 17, ch. 2005-287; s. 52, ch. 2006-60; s. 4, ch. 2006-291; s. 14, ch. 2007-5; s. 6, ch. 2008-227.