212.031 Tax on rental or license fee for use of real property.—
(1)(a) It is declared to be the legislative intent that every person is exercising a taxable privilege who engages in the business of renting, leasing, letting, or granting a license for the use of any real property unless such property is:
1. Assessed as agricultural property under s. 193.461.
2. Used exclusively as dwelling units.
3. Property subject to tax on parking, docking, or storage spaces under s. 212.03(6).
4. Recreational property or the common elements of a condominium when subject to a lease between the developer or owner thereof and the condominium association in its own right or as agent for the owners of individual condominium units or the owners of individual condominium units. However, only the lease payments on such property shall be exempt from the tax imposed by this chapter, and any other use made by the owner or the condominium association shall be fully taxable under this chapter.
5. A public or private street or right-of-way and poles, conduits, fixtures, and similar improvements located on such streets or rights-of-way, occupied or used by a utility or provider of communications services, as defined by s. 202.11, for utility or communications or television purposes. For purposes of this subparagraph, the term “utility” means any person providing utility services as defined in s. 203.012. This exception also applies to property, wherever located, on which the following are placed: towers, antennas, cables, accessory structures, or equipment, not including switching equipment, used in the provision of mobile communications services as defined in s. 202.11. For purposes of this chapter, towers used in the provision of mobile communications services, as defined in s. 202.11, are considered to be fixtures.
6. A public street or road which is used for transportation purposes.
7. Property used at an airport exclusively for the purpose of aircraft landing or aircraft taxiing or property used by an airline for the purpose of loading or unloading passengers or property onto or from aircraft or for fueling aircraft.
8.a. Property used at a port authority, as defined in s. 315.02(2), exclusively for the purpose of oceangoing vessels or tugs docking, or such vessels mooring on property used by a port authority for the purpose of loading or unloading passengers or cargo onto or from such a vessel, or property used at a port authority for fueling such vessels, or to the extent that the amount paid for the use of any property at the port is based on the charge for the amount of tonnage actually imported or exported through the port by a tenant.
b. The amount charged for the use of any property at the port in excess of the amount charged for tonnage actually imported or exported shall remain subject to tax except as provided in sub-subparagraph a.
9. Property used as an integral part of the performance of qualified production services. As used in this subparagraph, the term “qualified production services” means any activity or service performed directly in connection with the production of a qualified motion picture, as defined in s. 212.06(1)(b), and includes:
a. Photography, sound and recording, casting, location managing and scouting, shooting, creation of special and optical effects, animation, adaptation (language, media, electronic, or otherwise), technological modifications, computer graphics, set and stage support (such as electricians, lighting designers and operators, greensmen, prop managers and assistants, and grips), wardrobe (design, preparation, and management), hair and makeup (design, production, and application), performing (such as acting, dancing, and playing), designing and executing stunts, coaching, consulting, writing, scoring, composing, choreographing, script supervising, directing, producing, transmitting dailies, dubbing, mixing, editing, cutting, looping, printing, processing, duplicating, storing, and distributing;
b. The design, planning, engineering, construction, alteration, repair, and maintenance of real or personal property including stages, sets, props, models, paintings, and facilities principally required for the performance of those services listed in sub-subparagraph a.; and
c. Property management services directly related to property used in connection with the services described in sub-subparagraphs a. and b.
This exemption will inure to the taxpayer upon presentation of the certificate of exemption issued to the taxpayer under the provisions of s. 288.1258.
10. Leased, subleased, licensed, or rented to a person providing food and drink concessionaire services within the premises of a convention hall, exhibition hall, auditorium, stadium, theater, arena, civic center, performing arts center, publicly owned recreational facility, or any business operated under a permit issued pursuant to chapter 550. A person providing retail concessionaire services involving the sale of food and drink or other tangible personal property within the premises of an airport shall be subject to tax on the rental of real property used for that purpose, but shall not be subject to the tax on any license to use the property. For purposes of this subparagraph, the term “sale” shall not include the leasing of tangible personal property.
11. Property occupied pursuant to an instrument calling for payments which the department has declared, in a Technical Assistance Advisement issued on or before March 15, 1993, to be nontaxable pursuant to rule 12A-1.070(19)(c), Florida Administrative Code; provided that this subparagraph shall only apply to property occupied by the same person before and after the execution of the subject instrument and only to those payments made pursuant to such instrument, exclusive of renewals and extensions thereof occurring after March 15, 1993.
12. Property used or occupied predominantly for space flight business purposes. As used in this subparagraph, “space flight business” means the manufacturing, processing, or assembly of a space facility, space propulsion system, space vehicle, satellite, or station of any kind possessing the capacity for space flight, as defined by s. 212.02(23), or components thereof, and also means the following activities supporting space flight: vehicle launch activities, flight operations, ground control or ground support, and all administrative activities directly related thereto. Property shall be deemed to be used or occupied predominantly for space flight business purposes if more than 50 percent of the property, or improvements thereon, is used for one or more space flight business purposes. Possession by a landlord, lessor, or licensor of a signed written statement from the tenant, lessee, or licensee claiming the exemption shall relieve the landlord, lessor, or licensor from the responsibility of collecting the tax, and the department shall look solely to the tenant, lessee, or licensee for recovery of such tax if it determines that the exemption was not applicable.
13. Rented, leased, subleased, or licensed to a person providing telecommunications, data systems management, or Internet services at a publicly or privately owned convention hall, civic center, or meeting space at a public lodging establishment as defined in s. 509.013. This subparagraph applies only to that portion of the rental, lease, or license payment that is based upon a percentage of sales, revenue sharing, or royalty payments and not based upon a fixed price. This subparagraph is intended to be clarifying and remedial in nature and shall apply retroactively. This subparagraph does not provide a basis for an assessment of any tax not paid, or create a right to a refund of any tax paid, pursuant to this section before July 1, 2010.
(b) When a lease involves multiple use of real property wherein a part of the real property is subject to the tax herein, and a part of the property would be excluded from the tax under subparagraph (a)1., subparagraph (a)2., subparagraph (a)3., or subparagraph (a)5., the department shall determine, from the lease or license and such other information as may be available, that portion of the total rental charge which is exempt from the tax imposed by this section. The portion of the premises leased or rented by a for-profit entity providing a residential facility for the aged will be exempt on the basis of a pro rata portion calculated by combining the square footage of the areas used for residential units by the aged and for the care of such residents and dividing the resultant sum by the total square footage of the rented premises. For purposes of this section, the term “residential facility for the aged” means a facility that is licensed or certified in whole or in part under chapter 400, chapter 429, or chapter 651; or that provides residences to the elderly and is financed by a mortgage or loan made or insured by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development under s. 202, s. 202 with a s. 8 subsidy, s. 221(d)(3) or (4), s. 232, or s. 236 of the National Housing Act; or other such similar facility that provides residences primarily for the elderly.
(c) For the exercise of such privilege, a tax is levied in an amount equal to 6 percent of and on the total rent or license fee charged for such real property by the person charging or collecting the rental or license fee. The total rent or license fee charged for such real property shall include payments for the granting of a privilege to use or occupy real property for any purpose and shall include base rent, percentage rents, or similar charges. Such charges shall be included in the total rent or license fee subject to tax under this section whether or not they can be attributed to the ability of the lessor’s or licensor’s property as used or operated to attract customers. Payments for intrinsically valuable personal property such as franchises, trademarks, service marks, logos, or patents are not subject to tax under this section. In the case of a contractual arrangement that provides for both payments taxable as total rent or license fee and payments not subject to tax, the tax shall be based on a reasonable allocation of such payments and shall not apply to that portion which is for the nontaxable payments.
(d) When the rental or license fee of any such real property is paid by way of property, goods, wares, merchandise, services, or other thing of value, the tax shall be at the rate of 6 percent of the value of the property, goods, wares, merchandise, services, or other thing of value.
(2)(a) The tenant or person actually occupying, using, or entitled to the use of any property from which the rental or license fee is subject to taxation under this section shall pay the tax to his or her immediate landlord or other person granting the right to such tenant or person to occupy or use such real property.
(b) It is the further intent of this Legislature that only one tax be collected on the rental or license fee payable for the occupancy or use of any such property, that the tax so collected shall not be pyramided by a progression of transactions, and that the amount of the tax due the state shall not be decreased by any such progression of transactions.
(3) The tax imposed by this section shall be in addition to the total amount of the rental or license fee, shall be charged by the lessor or person receiving the rent or payment in and by a rental or license fee arrangement with the lessee or person paying the rental or license fee, and shall be due and payable at the time of the receipt of such rental or license fee payment by the lessor or other person who receives the rental or payment. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the tax imposed by this section on the rental, lease, or license for the use of a convention hall, exhibition hall, auditorium, stadium, theater, arena, civic center, performing arts center, or publicly owned recreational facility to hold an event of not more than 7 consecutive days’ duration shall be collected at the time of the payment for that rental, lease, or license but is not due and payable to the department until the first day of the month following the last day that the event for which the payment is made is actually held, and becomes delinquent on the 21st day of that month. The owner, lessor, or person receiving the rent or license fee shall remit the tax to the department at the times and in the manner hereinafter provided for dealers to remit taxes under this chapter. The same duties imposed by this chapter upon dealers in tangible personal property respecting the collection and remission of the tax; the making of returns; the keeping of books, records, and accounts; and the compliance with the rules and regulations of the department in the administration of this chapter shall apply to and be binding upon all persons who manage any leases or operate real property, hotels, apartment houses, roominghouses, or tourist and trailer camps and all persons who collect or receive rents or license fees taxable under this chapter on behalf of owners or lessors.
(4) The tax imposed by this section shall constitute a lien on the property of the lessee or licensee of any real estate in the same manner as, and shall be collectible as are, liens authorized and imposed by ss. 713.68 and 713.69.
(5) When space is subleased to a convention or industry trade show in a convention hall, exhibition hall, or auditorium, whether publicly or privately owned, the sponsor who holds the prime lease is subject to tax on the prime lease and the sublease is exempt.
(6) The lease or rental of land or a hall or other facilities by a fair association subject to the provisions of chapter 616 to a show promoter or prime operator of a carnival or midway attraction is exempt from the tax imposed by this section; however, the sublease of land or a hall or other facilities by the show promoter or prime operator is not exempt from the provisions of this section.
(7) Utility charges subject to sales tax which are paid by a tenant to the lessor and which are part of a payment for the privilege or right to use or occupy real property are exempt from tax if the lessor has paid sales tax on the purchase of such utilities and the charges billed by the lessor to the tenant are separately stated and at the same or a lower price than those paid by the lessor.
(8) Charges by lessors to a lessee to cancel or terminate a lease agreement are presumed taxable if the lessor records such charges as rental income in its books and records. This presumption can be overcome by the provision of sufficient documentation by either the lessor or the lessee that such charges were other than for the rental of real property.
(9) The rental, lease, sublease, or license for the use of a skybox, luxury box, or other box seats for use during a high school or college football game is exempt from the tax imposed by this section when the charge for such rental, lease, sublease, or license is imposed by a nonprofit sponsoring organization which is qualified as nonprofit pursuant to s. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
History.—s. 6, ch. 69-222; ss. 21, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 3, ch. 71-986; s. 2, ch. 77-194; s. 1, ch. 78-107; s. 95, ch. 79-400; s. 2, ch. 82-154; s. 1, ch. 82-207; s. 71, ch. 83-217; s. 4, ch. 83-297; s. 2, ch. 85-310; s. 66, ch. 86-152; ss. 2, 8, ch. 86-166; ss. 8, 25, ch. 87-6; s. 10, ch. 87-101; ss. 3, 4, ch. 87-548; s. 92, ch. 90-132; s. 57, ch. 92-348; s. 4, ch. 93-86; s. 1108, ch. 95-147; s. 2, ch. 95-391; s. 20, ch. 96-397; s. 4, ch. 97-221; s. 3, ch. 98-140; s. 1, ch. 99-238; s. 1, ch. 99-270; s. 1, ch. 99-363; s. 2, ch. 2000-182; s. 1, ch. 2000-183; s. 53, ch. 2000-260; ss. 1, 3, ch. 2000-345; ss. 26, 27, ch. 2001-140; s. 55, ch. 2002-218; ss. 1, 2, ch. 2006-101; s. 10, ch. 2006-197; s. 3, ch. 2010-4; s. 5, ch. 2010-147.