July 04, 2020
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_h7205__
HB 7205

1
A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to professional sports franchises;
3amending ss. 14.2015, 212.20, and 218.64, F.S., relating
4to the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development,
5the distribution of certain tax proceeds, and the
6allocation of a portion of the local government half-cent
7sales tax; conforming provisions to changes made by the
8act; conforming cross-references; amending s. 288.1162,
9F.S.; deleting provisions relating to the certification
10and funding of facilities for spring training baseball
11franchises; authorizing the Auditor General to conduct
12audits to verify whether certain funds for professional
13sports franchises are used as required by law; requiring
14the Auditor General to notify the Department of Revenue if
15the funds are not used as required by law; creating s.
16288.11621, F.S.; authorizing certain units of local
17government and private entities to apply for certification
18to receive state funding for a facility for a spring
19training franchise; providing definitions; providing
20eligibility requirements; providing criteria to
21competitively evaluate applications for certification;
22requiring a certified applicant to use the funds awarded
23for specified public purposes and place unexpended funds
24in a trust fund or separate account; authorizing a
25certified applicant to request a suspension of the
26distribution of funds for a specified period under certain
27circumstances; requiring the expenditure of funds by
28certain certified applicants within a specified period;
29requiring the completion of certain spring training
30facility projects within a specified period; requiring
31certified applicants to submit annual reports to the
32Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development;
33requiring a contract for receipt of funds by certified
34applicants that are private entities; providing contract
35requirements; requiring the office to decertify applicants
36under certain circumstances; providing for delay in
37decertification proceedings for local governments
38certified before a specified date under certain
39circumstances; providing for review of the office's notice
40of intent to decertify an applicant; requiring an
41applicant to repay unencumbered state funds and interest
42after decertification; requiring the office to develop a
43strategic plan relating to baseball spring training
44activities; requiring the office to adopt rules;
45authorizing the Auditor General to conduct audits to
46verify whether certified funds for baseball spring
47training facilities are used as required by law; requiring
48the Auditor General to notify the Department of Revenue if
49the funds are not used as required by law; amending s.
50288.1229, F.S.; providing that the Office of Tourism,
51Trade, and Economic Development may authorize a direct-
52support organization to assist in the retention of
53professional sports franchises; recognizing the validity
54of specified agreements under certain circumstances;
55providing an effective date.
56
57Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
58
59     Section 1.  Paragraph (f) of subsection (2) of section
6014.2015, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
61     14.2015  Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic
62Development; creation; powers and duties.-
63     (2)  The purpose of the Office of Tourism, Trade, and
64Economic Development is to assist the Governor in working with
65the Legislature, state agencies, business leaders, and economic
66development professionals to formulate and implement coherent
67and consistent policies and strategies designed to provide
68economic opportunities for all Floridians. To accomplish such
69purposes, the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development
70shall:
71     (f)1.  Administer the Florida Enterprise Zone Act under ss.
72290.001-290.016, the community contribution tax credit program
73under ss. 220.183 and 624.5105, the tax refund program for
74qualified target industry businesses under s. 288.106, the tax-
75refund program for qualified defense contractors and space
76flight business contractors under s. 288.1045, contracts for
77transportation projects under s. 288.063, the sports franchise
78facility programs program under ss. 288.1162 and 288.11621 s.
79288.1162, the professional golf hall of fame facility program
80under s. 288.1168, the expedited permitting process under s.
81403.973, the Rural Community Development Revolving Loan Fund
82under s. 288.065, the Regional Rural Development Grants Program
83under s. 288.018, the Certified Capital Company Act under s.
84288.99, the Florida State Rural Development Council, the Rural
85Economic Development Initiative, and other programs that are
86specifically assigned to the office by law, by the
87appropriations process, or by the Governor. Notwithstanding any
88other provisions of law, the office may expend interest earned
89from the investment of program funds deposited in the Grants and
90Donations Trust Fund to contract for the administration of the
91programs, or portions of the programs, enumerated in this
92paragraph or assigned to the office by law, by the
93appropriations process, or by the Governor. Such expenditures
94shall be subject to review under chapter 216.
95     2.  The office may enter into contracts in connection with
96the fulfillment of its duties concerning the Florida First
97Business Bond Pool under chapter 159, tax incentives under
98chapters 212 and 220, tax incentives under the Certified Capital
99Company Act in chapter 288, foreign offices under chapter 288,
100the Enterprise Zone program under chapter 290, the Seaport
101Employment Training program under chapter 311, the Florida
102Professional Sports Team License Plates under chapter 320,
103Spaceport Florida under chapter 331, Expedited Permitting under
104chapter 403, and in carrying out other functions that are
105specifically assigned to the office by law, by the
106appropriations process, or by the Governor.
107     Section 2.  Paragraph (d) of subsection (6) of section
108212.20, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
109     212.20  Funds collected, disposition; additional powers of
110department; operational expense; refund of taxes adjudicated
111unconstitutionally collected.-
112     (6)  Distribution of all proceeds under this chapter and s.
113202.18(1)(b) and (2)(b) shall be as follows:
114     (d)  The proceeds of all other taxes and fees imposed
115pursuant to this chapter or remitted pursuant to s. 202.18(1)(b)
116and (2)(b) shall be distributed as follows:
117     1.  In any fiscal year, the greater of $500 million, minus
118an amount equal to 4.6 percent of the proceeds of the taxes
119collected pursuant to chapter 201, or 5.2 percent of all other
120taxes and fees imposed pursuant to this chapter or remitted
121pursuant to s. 202.18(1)(b) and (2)(b) shall be deposited in
122monthly installments into the General Revenue Fund.
123     2.  After the distribution under subparagraph 1., 8.814
124percent of the amount remitted by a sales tax dealer located
125within a participating county pursuant to s. 218.61 shall be
126transferred into the Local Government Half-cent Sales Tax
127Clearing Trust Fund. Beginning July 1, 2003, the amount to be
128transferred shall be reduced by 0.1 percent, and the department
129shall distribute this amount to the Public Employees Relations
130Commission Trust Fund less $5,000 each month, which shall be
131added to the amount calculated in subparagraph 3. and
132distributed accordingly.
133     3.  After the distribution under subparagraphs 1. and 2.,
1340.095 percent shall be transferred to the Local Government Half-
135cent Sales Tax Clearing Trust Fund and distributed pursuant to
136s. 218.65.
137     4.  After the distributions under subparagraphs 1., 2., and
1383., 2.0440 percent of the available proceeds shall be
139transferred monthly to the Revenue Sharing Trust Fund for
140Counties pursuant to s. 218.215.
141     5.  After the distributions under subparagraphs 1., 2., and
1423., 1.3409 percent of the available proceeds shall be
143transferred monthly to the Revenue Sharing Trust Fund for
144Municipalities pursuant to s. 218.215. If the total revenue to
145be distributed pursuant to this subparagraph is at least as
146great as the amount due from the Revenue Sharing Trust Fund for
147Municipalities and the former Municipal Financial Assistance
148Trust Fund in state fiscal year 1999-2000, no municipality shall
149receive less than the amount due from the Revenue Sharing Trust
150Fund for Municipalities and the former Municipal Financial
151Assistance Trust Fund in state fiscal year 1999-2000. If the
152total proceeds to be distributed are less than the amount
153received in combination from the Revenue Sharing Trust Fund for
154Municipalities and the former Municipal Financial Assistance
155Trust Fund in state fiscal year 1999-2000, each municipality
156shall receive an amount proportionate to the amount it was due
157in state fiscal year 1999-2000.
158     6.  Of the remaining proceeds:
159     a.  In each fiscal year, the sum of $29,915,500 shall be
160divided into as many equal parts as there are counties in the
161state, and one part shall be distributed to each county. The
162distribution among the several counties must begin each fiscal
163year on or before January 5th and continue monthly for a total
164of 4 months. If a local or special law required that any moneys
165accruing to a county in fiscal year 1999-2000 under the then-
166existing provisions of s. 550.135 be paid directly to the
167district school board, special district, or a municipal
168government, such payment must continue until the local or
169special law is amended or repealed. The state covenants with
170holders of bonds or other instruments of indebtedness issued by
171local governments, special districts, or district school boards
172before July 1, 2000, that it is not the intent of this
173subparagraph to adversely affect the rights of those holders or
174relieve local governments, special districts, or district school
175boards of the duty to meet their obligations as a result of
176previous pledges or assignments or trusts entered into which
177obligated funds received from the distribution to county
178governments under then-existing s. 550.135. This distribution
179specifically is in lieu of funds distributed under s. 550.135
180before July 1, 2000.
181     b.  The department shall distribute $166,667 monthly
182pursuant to s. 288.1162 to each applicant that has been
183certified as a facility for a new or retained professional
184sports franchise "facility for a new professional sports
185franchise" or a "facility for a retained professional sports
186franchise" pursuant to s. 288.1162. Up to $41,667 shall be
187distributed monthly by the department to each certified
188applicant as defined in s. 288.11621 for a facility for a
189retained spring training franchise. that has been certified as a
190"facility for a retained spring training franchise" pursuant to
191s. 288.1162; However, not more than $416,670 may be distributed
192monthly in the aggregate to all certified applicants for
193facilities for a retained spring training franchises franchise.
194Distributions must begin 60 days after following such
195certification and shall continue for not more than 30 years,
196except as otherwise provided in s. 288.11621. A certified
197applicant identified in this sub-subparagraph may not
198paragraph may not be construed to allow an applicant
199pursuant to s. 288.1162 to receive more in
200actually expended by the applicant for the public purposes
201provided for in s. 288.1162(5) or s. 288.11621(3) s.
202288.1162(6).
203     c.  Beginning 30 days after notice by the Office of
204Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development to the Department of
205Revenue that an applicant has been certified as the professional
206golf hall of fame pursuant to s. 288.1168 and is open to the
207public, $166,667 shall be distributed monthly, for up to 300
208months, to the applicant.
209     d.  Beginning 30 days after notice by the Office of
210Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development to the Department of
211Revenue that the applicant has been certified as the
212International Game Fish Association World Center facility
213pursuant to s. 288.1169, and the facility is open to the public,
214$83,333 shall be distributed monthly, for up to 168 months, to
215the applicant. This distribution is subject to reduction
216pursuant to s. 288.1169. A lump sum payment of $999,996 shall be
217made, after certification and before July 1, 2000.
218     7.  All other proceeds must remain in the General Revenue
219Fund.
220     Section 3.  Section 218.64, Florida Statutes, is amended to
221read:
222     218.64  Local government half-cent sales tax; uses;
223limitations.-
224     (1)  The proportion of the local government half-cent sales
225tax received by a county government based on two-thirds of the
226incorporated area population shall be deemed countywide revenues
227and shall be expended only for countywide tax relief or
228countywide programs. The remaining county government portion
229shall be deemed county revenues derived on behalf of the
230unincorporated area but may be expended on a countywide basis.
231     (2)  Municipalities shall expend their portions of the
232local government half-cent sales tax only for municipality-wide
233programs or for municipality-wide property tax or municipal
234utility tax relief. All utility tax rate reductions afforded by
235participation in the local government half-cent sales tax shall
236be applied uniformly across all types of taxed utility services.
237     (3)  Subject to ordinances enacted by the majority of the
238members of the county governing authority and by the majority of
239the members of the governing authorities of municipalities
240representing at least 50 percent of the municipal population of
241such county, counties may use up to $2 million annually of the
242local government half-cent sales tax allocated to that county
243for funding for any of the following applicants:
244     (a)  A certified applicant as a facility for a new or
245retained professional sports franchise under "facility for a new
246professional sports franchise," a "facility for a retained
247professional sports franchise," or a "facility for a retained
248spring training franchise," as provided for in s. 288.1162 or a
249certified applicant as defined in s. 288.11621 for a facility
250for a spring training franchise. It is the Legislature's intent
251that the provisions of s. 288.1162, including, but not limited
252to, the evaluation process by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and
253Economic Development except for the limitation on the number of
254certified applicants or facilities as provided in that section
255and the restrictions set forth in s. 288.1162(8) s. 288.1162(9),
256shall apply to an applicant's facility to be funded by local
257government as provided in this subsection.
258     (b)  A certified applicant as a "motorsport entertainment
259complex," as provided for in s. 288.1171. Funding for each
260franchise or motorsport complex shall begin 60 days after
261certification and shall continue for not more than 30 years.
262     (4)  A local government is authorized to pledge proceeds of
263the local government half-cent sales tax for the payment of
264principal and interest on any capital project.
265     Section 4.  Section 288.1162, Florida Statutes, is amended
266to read:
267     288.1162  Professional sports franchises; spring training
268franchises; duties.-
269     (1)  The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development
270shall serve as the state agency for screening applicants for
271state funding under pursuant to s. 212.20 and for certifying an
272applicant as a facility for a new or retained professional
273sports franchise. "facility for a new professional sports
274franchise," a "facility for a retained professional sports
275franchise," or a "facility for a retained spring training
276franchise."
277     (2)  The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development
278shall develop rules for the receipt and processing of
279applications for funding under pursuant to s. 212.20.
280     (3)  As used in this section, the term:
281     (a)  "New professional sports franchise" means a
282professional sports franchise that was is not based in this
283state before prior to April 1, 1987.
284     (b)  "Retained professional sports franchise" means a
285professional sports franchise that has had a league-authorized
286location in this state on or before December 31, 1976, and has
287continuously remained at that location, and has never been
288located at a facility that has been previously certified under
289any provision of this section.
290     (4)  Before Prior to certifying an applicant as a facility
291for a new or retained professional sports franchise, "facility
292for a new professional sports franchise" or a "facility for a
293retained professional sports franchise," the Office of Tourism,
294Trade, and Economic Development must determine that:
295     (a)  A "unit of local government" as defined in s. 218.369
296is responsible for the construction, management, or operation of
297the professional sports franchise facility or holds title to the
298property on which the professional sports franchise facility is
299located.
300     (b)  The applicant has a verified copy of a signed
301agreement with a new professional sports franchise for the use
302of the facility for a term of at least 10 years, or in the case
303of a retained professional sports franchise, an agreement for
304use of the facility for a term of at least 20 years.
305     (c)  The applicant has a verified copy of the approval from
306the governing authority of the league in which the new
307professional sports franchise exists authorizing the location of
308the professional sports franchise in this state after April 1,
3091987, or in the case of a retained professional sports
310franchise, verified evidence that it has had a league-authorized
311location in this state on or before December 31, 1976. As used
312in this section, the term "league" means the National League or
313the American League of Major League Baseball, the National
314Basketball Association, the National Football League, or the
315National Hockey League.
316     (d)  The applicant has projections, verified by the Office
317of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development, which demonstrate
318that the new or retained professional sports franchise will
319attract a paid attendance of more than 300,000 annually.
320     (e)  The applicant has an independent analysis or study,
321verified by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic
322Development, which demonstrates that the amount of the revenues
323generated by the taxes imposed under chapter 212 with respect to
324the use and operation of the professional sports franchise
325facility will equal or exceed $2 million annually.
326     (f)  The municipality in which the facility for a new or
327retained professional sports franchise is located, or the county
328if the facility for a new or retained professional sports
329franchise is located in an unincorporated area, has certified by
330resolution after a public hearing that the application serves a
331public purpose.
332     (g)  The applicant has demonstrated that it has provided,
333is capable of providing, or has financial or other commitments
334to provide more than one-half of the costs incurred or related
335to the improvement and development of the facility.
336     (h)  An No applicant previously certified under any
337provision of this section who has received funding under such
338certification is not shall be eligible for an additional
339certification.
340     (5)(a)  As used in this section, the term "retained spring
341training franchise" means a spring training franchise that has
342been based in this state prior to January 1, 2000.
343     (b)  Prior to certifying an applicant as a "facility for a
344retained spring training franchise," the Office of Tourism,
345Trade, and Economic Development must determine that:
346     1.  A "unit of local government" as defined in s. 218.369
347is responsible for the acquisition, construction, management, or
348operation of the facility for a retained spring training
349franchise or holds title to the property on which the facility
350for a retained spring training franchise is located.
351     2.  The applicant has a verified copy of a signed agreement
352with a retained spring training franchise for the use of the
353facility for a term of at least 15 years.
354     3.  The applicant has a financial commitment to provide 50
355percent or more of the funds required by an agreement for the
356acquisition, construction, or renovation of the facility for a
357retained spring training franchise. The agreement can be
358contingent upon the awarding of funds under this section and
359other conditions precedent to use by the spring training
360franchise.
361     4.  The applicant has projections, verified by the Office
362of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development, which demonstrate
363that the facility for a retained spring training franchise will
364attract a paid attendance of at least 50,000 annually.
365     5.  The facility for a retained spring training franchise
366is located in a county that is levying a tourist development tax
367pursuant to s. 125.0104.
368     (c)1.  The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic
369Development shall competitively evaluate applications for
370funding of a facility for a retained spring training franchise.
371Applications must be submitted by October 1, 2000, with
372certifications to be made by January 1, 2001. If the number of
373applicants exceeds five and the aggregate funding request of all
374applications exceeds $208,335 per month, the office shall rank
375the applications according to a selection criteria, certifying
376the highest ranked proposals. The evaluation criteria shall
377include, with priority given in descending order to the
378following items:
379     a.  The intended use of the funds by the applicant, with
380priority given to the construction of a new facility.
381     b.  The length of time that the existing franchise has been
382located in the state, with priority given to retaining
383franchises that have been in the same location the longest.
384     c.  The length of time that a facility to be used by a
385retained spring training franchise has been used by one or more
386spring training franchises, with priority given to a facility
387that has been in continuous use as a facility for spring
388training the longest.
389     d.  For those teams leasing a spring training facility from
390a unit of local government, the remaining time on the lease for
391facilities used by the spring training franchise, with priority
392given to the shortest time period remaining on the lease.
393     e.  The duration of the future-use agreement with the
394retained spring training franchise, with priority given to the
395future-use agreement having the longest duration.
396     f.  The amount of the local match, with priority given to
397the largest percentage of local match proposed.
398     g.  The net increase of total active recreation space owned
399by the applying unit of local government following the
400acquisition of land for the spring training facility, with
401priority given to the largest percentage increase of total
402active recreation space.
403     h.  The location of the facility in a brownfield, an
404enterprise zone, a community redevelopment area, or other area
405of targeted development or revitalization included in an Urban
406Infill Redevelopment Plan, with priority given to facilities
407located in these areas.
408     i.  The projections on paid attendance attracted by the
409facility and the proposed effect on the economy of the local
410community, with priority given to the highest projected paid
411attendance.
412     2.  Beginning July 1, 2006, the Office of Tourism, Trade,
413and Economic Development shall competitively evaluate
414applications for funding of facilities for retained spring
415training franchises in addition to those certified and funded
416under subparagraph 1. An applicant that is a unit of government
417that has an agreement for a retained spring training franchise
418for 15 or more years which was entered into between July 1,
4192003, and July 1, 2004, shall be eligible for funding.
420Applications must be submitted by October 1, 2006, with
421certifications to be made by January 1, 2007. The office shall
422rank the applications according to selection criteria,
423certifying no more than five proposals. The aggregate funding
424request of all applicants certified shall not exceed an
425aggregate funding request of $208,335 per month. The evaluation
426criteria shall include the following, with priority given in
427descending order:
428     a.  The intended use of the funds by the applicant for
429acquisition or construction of a new facility.
430     b.  The intended use of the funds by the applicant to
431renovate a facility.
432     c.  The length of time that a facility to be used by a
433retained spring training franchise has been used by one or more
434spring training franchises, with priority given to a facility
435that has been in continuous use as a facility for spring
436training the longest.
437     d.  For those teams leasing a spring training facility from
438a unit of local government, the remaining time on the lease for
439facilities used by the spring training franchise, with priority
440given to the shortest time period remaining on the lease. For
441consideration under this subparagraph, the remaining time on the
442lease shall not exceed 5 years, unless an agreement of 15 years
443or more was entered into between July 1, 2003, and July 1, 2004.
444     e.  The duration of the future-use agreement with the
445retained spring training franchise, with priority given to the
446future-use agreement having the longest duration.
447     f.  The amount of the local match, with priority given to
448the largest percentage of local match proposed.
449     g.  The net increase of total active recreation space owned
450by the applying unit of local government following the
451acquisition of land for the spring training facility, with
452priority given to the largest percentage increase of total
453active recreation space.
454     h.  The location of the facility in a brownfield area, an
455enterprise zone, a community redevelopment area, or another area
456of targeted development or revitalization included in an urban
457infill redevelopment plan, with priority given to facilities
458located in those areas.
459     i.  The projections on paid attendance attracted by the
460facility and the proposed effect on the economy of the local
461community, with priority given to the highest projected paid
462attendance.
463     (d)  Funds may not be expended to subsidize privately owned
464and maintained facilities for use by the spring training
465franchise. Funds may be used to relocate a retained spring
466training franchise to another unit of local government only if
467the existing unit of local government with the retained spring
468training franchise agrees to the relocation.
469     (5)(6)  An applicant certified as a facility for a new or
470retained professional sports franchise or a facility for a
471retained professional sports franchise or as a facility for a
472retained spring training franchise may use funds provided under
473pursuant to s. 212.20 only for the public purpose of paying for
474the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, or renovation of
475a facility for a new or retained professional sports franchise,
476a facility for a retained professional sports franchise, or a
477facility for a retained spring training franchise or to pay or
478pledge for the payment of debt service on, or to fund debt
479service reserve funds, arbitrage rebate obligations, or other
480amounts payable with respect to, bonds issued for the
481acquisition, construction, reconstruction, or renovation of such
482facility or for the reimbursement of such costs or the
483refinancing of bonds issued for such purposes.
484     (6)(7)(a)  The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic
485Development shall notify the Department of Revenue of any
486facility certified as a facility for a new or retained
487professional sports franchise or a facility for a retained
488professional sports franchise or as a facility for a retained
489spring training franchise. The Office of Tourism, Trade, and
490Economic Development shall certify no more than eight facilities
491as facilities for a new professional sports franchise or as
492facilities for a retained professional sports franchise,
493including in the such total any facilities certified by the
494former Department of Commerce before July 1, 1996. The number of
495facilities certified as a retained spring training franchise
496shall be as provided in subsection (5). The office may make no
497more than one certification for any facility. The office may not
498certify funding for less than the requested amount to any
499applicant certified as a facility for a retained spring training
500franchise.
501     (b)  The eighth certification of an applicant under this
502section as a facility for a new or retained professional sports
503franchise or a facility for a retained professional sports
504franchise shall be for a franchise that is a member of the
505National Basketball Association, has been located within the
506state since 1987, and has not been previously certified. This
507paragraph is repealed July 1, 2010.
508     (7)(8)  The Auditor General Department of Revenue may
509conduct audits audit as provided in s. 11.45 s. 213.34 to verify
510that the distributions under pursuant to this section are have
511been expended as required in this section. Such information is
512subject to the confidentiality requirements of chapter 213. If
513the Auditor General Department of Revenue determines that the
514distributions under pursuant to this section are have not been
515expended as required by this section, the Auditor General shall
516notify the Department of Revenue, which it may pursue recovery
517of the such funds under pursuant to the laws and rules governing
518the assessment of taxes.
519     (8)(9)  An applicant is not qualified for certification
520under this section if the franchise formed the basis for a
521previous certification, unless the previous certification was
522withdrawn by the facility or invalidated by the Office of
523Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development or the former
524Department of Commerce before any funds were distributed under
525pursuant to s. 212.20. This subsection does not disqualify an
526applicant if the previous certification occurred between May 23,
5271993, and May 25, 1993; however, any funds to be distributed
528under pursuant to s. 212.20 for the second certification shall
529be offset by the amount distributed to the previous certified
530facility. Distribution of funds for the second certification
531shall not be made until all amounts payable for the first
532certification are have been distributed.
533     Section 5.  Section 288.11621, Florida Statutes, is created
534to read:
535     288.11621  Spring training baseball franchises.-
536     (1)  DEFINITIONS.-As used in this section, the term:
537     (a)  "Agreement" means a certified, signed lease between an
538applicant that applies for certification on or after July 1,
5392010, and the spring training franchise for the use of a
540facility.
541     (b)  "Applicant" means a unit of local government as
542defined in s. 218.369, including local governments located in
543the same county that have partnered with a certified applicant
544before the effective date of this section or with an applicant
545for a new certification, for purposes of sharing in the
546responsibilities of a facility, or a private entity.
547     (c)  "Certified applicant" means a facility for a spring
548training franchise that was certified before July 1, 2010, under
549s. 288.1162(5), Florida Statutes 2009, or a unit of local
550government or a private entity that is certified under this
551section.
552     (d)  "Facility" means a spring training stadium, playing
553fields, and appurtenances intended to support spring training
554activities.
555     (e)  "Local funds" and "local matching funds" mean funds
556provided by a county, municipality, or other local government;
557funds provided by a private entity; or a combination of such
558funds.
559     (f)  "Office" means the Office of Tourism, Trade, and
560Economic Development.
561     (2)  CERTIFICATION PROCESS.-
562     (a)  Before certifying an applicant to receive state
563funding for a facility for a spring training franchise, the
564office must verify that:
565     1.  The applicant is responsible for the acquisition,
566construction, management, or operation of the facility for a
567spring training franchise or holds title to the property on
568which the facility for a spring training franchise is located.
569     2.  The applicant has a certified copy of a signed
570agreement with a spring training franchise for the use of the
571facility for a term of at least 20 years. The agreement also
572must require the franchise to reimburse the state for state
573funds expended by an applicant under this section if the
574franchise relocates before the agreement expires. The agreement
575may be contingent on an award of funds under this section and
576other conditions precedent.
577     3.  The applicant has made a financial commitment to
578provide 50 percent or more of the funds required by an agreement
579for the acquisition, construction, or renovation of the facility
580for a spring training franchise. The commitment may be
581contingent upon an award of funds under this section and other
582conditions precedent.
583     4.  The applicant demonstrates that the facility for a
584spring training franchise will attract a paid attendance of at
585least 50,000 annually to the spring training games.
586     5.  The facility for a spring training franchise is located
587in a county that levies a tourist development tax under s.
588125.0104.
589     6.  The applicant, if a private entity, demonstrates that
590it can be bonded for an amount that it anticipates to be
591required by the office and the Department of Revenue in
592accordance with subsection (5).
593     (b)  The office shall competitively evaluate applications
594for state funding of a facility for a spring training franchise.
595The total number of certifications may not exceed 10 at any
596time. The evaluation criteria must include, with priority given
597in descending order to, the following items:
598     1.  The anticipated effect on the economy of the local
599community where the spring training facility is to be built,
600including projections on paid attendance, local and state tax
601collections generated by spring training games, and direct and
602indirect job creation resulting from the spring training
603activities. Priority shall be given to applicants who can
604demonstrate the largest projected economic impact.
605     2.  The amount of the local matching funds committed to a
606facility relative to the amount of state funding sought, with
607priority given to applicants that commit the largest amount of
608local matching funds relative to the amount of state funding
609sought.
610     3.  The potential for the facility to serve multiple uses.
611     4.  The intended use of the funds by the applicant, with
612priority given to the funds being used to acquire a facility,
613construct a new facility, or renovate an existing facility.
614     5.  The length of time that a spring training franchise has
615been under an agreement to conduct spring training activities
616within an applicant's geographic location or jurisdiction, with
617priority given to applicants having agreements with the same
618franchise for the longest period of time.
619     6.  The length of time that an applicant's facility has
620been used by one or more spring training franchises, with
621priority given to applicants whose facilities have been in
622continuous use as facilities for spring training the longest.
623     7.  The term remaining on a lease between an applicant and
624a spring training franchise for a facility, with priority given
625to applicants having the shortest lease terms remaining.
626     8.  The length of time that a spring training franchise
627agrees to use an applicant's facility if an application is
628granted under this section, with priority given to applicants
629having agreements for the longest future use.
630     9.  The net increase of total active recreation space owned
631by the applicant after an acquisition of land for the facility,
632with priority given to applicants having the largest percentage
633increase of total active recreation space that will be available
634for public use.
635     10.  The location of the facility in a brownfield, an
636enterprise zone, a community redevelopment area, or other area
637of targeted development or revitalization included in an urban
638infill redevelopment plan, with priority given to applicants
639having facilities located in these areas.
640     (c)  Each applicant certified on or after July 1, 2010,
641shall enter into an agreement with the office that:
642     1.  Specifies the amount of the state incentive funding to
643be distributed.
644     2.  States the criteria that the certified applicant must
645meet in order to remain certified.
646     3.  States that the certified applicant is subject to
647decertification if the certified applicant fails to comply with
648this section or the agreement.
649     4.  States that the office may recover state incentive
650funds if the certified applicant is decertified.
651     5.  Specifies information that the certified applicant must
652report to the office.
653     6.  Includes any provision deemed prudent by the office.
654     (3)  USE OF FUNDS.-
655     (a)  A certified applicant may use funds provided under s.
656212.20(6)(d)6.b. only to:
657     1.  Serve the public purpose of acquiring, constructing,
658reconstructing, or renovating a facility for a spring training
659franchise.
660     2.  Pay or pledge for the payment of debt service on, or to
661fund debt service reserve funds, arbitrage rebate obligations,
662or other amounts payable with respect thereto, bonds issued for
663the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, or renovation of
664such facility, or for the reimbursement of such costs or the
665refinancing of bonds issued for such purposes.
666     3.  Assist in the relocation of a spring training franchise
667from one unit of local government to another or to or from the
668location of a private entity to another private entity or to a
669unit of local government.
670     (b)  State funds awarded to a certified applicant for a
671facility for a spring training franchise may not be used to
672subsidize facilities that are privately owned, maintained, and
673used only by a spring training franchise.
674     (c)  The Department of Revenue may not distribute funds to
675an applicant certified on or after July 1, 2010, until it
676receives notice from the office that the certified applicant has
677encumbered funds under subparagraph (a)2. or has expended funds
678or contractually encumbered funds for the acquisition,
679construction, reconstruction, or renovation of a facility for
680spring training pursuant to the contract requirements in
681subsection (5).
682     (d)1.  All certified applicants must place unexpended state
683funds received pursuant to s. 212.20(6)(d)6.b. in a trust fund
684or separate account for use only as authorized in this section.
685     2.  A certified applicant may request that the Department
686of Revenue suspend further distributions of state funds made
687available under s. 212.20(6)(d)6.b. for 12 months after
688expiration of an existing agreement with a spring training
689franchise to provide the certified applicant with an opportunity
690to enter into a new agreement with a spring training franchise,
691at which time the distributions shall resume.
692     3.  The expenditure of state funds distributed to an
693applicant certified before July 1, 2010, must begin within 48
694months after the initial receipt of the state funds. In
695addition, the construction of, or capital improvements to, a
696spring training facility must be completed within 24 months
697after the project's commencement.
698     (4)  ANNUAL REPORTS.-On or before September 1 of each year,
699a certified applicant shall submit to the office a report that
700includes, but is not limited to:
701     (a)  A copy of its most recent annual audit.
702     (b)  A detailed report on all local and state funds
703expended to date on the project being financed under this
704section.
705     (c)  A copy of the contract between the certified local
706governmental entity or certified private entity and the spring
707training team.
708     (d)  A cost-benefit analysis of the team's impact on the
709community.
710     (e)  Evidence that the certified applicant continues to
711meet the criteria in effect when the applicant was certified.
712     (f)  For purposes of a certified applicant that is a
713private entity, a list of all uses of the facility and
714appurtenant property for public purposes during the preceding
715calendar year.
716     (5)  CONTRACT REQUIREMENTS FOR CERTIFIED APPLICANT THAT IS
717A PRIVATE ENTITY.-
718     (a)  In order for a private entity applicant that is
719certified under subsection (2) to receive funding under s.
720212.20(6)(d), a contract must be executed between the applicant
721and the office to ensure the protection of the state's financial
722interests.
723     (b)  The contract must, at a minimum, include the
724following:
725     1.  Required maintenance of a bond by the private entity
726that will be sufficient to cover the funding received, ensure
727the proper use of funds, and ensure a mechanism for the state to
728recover funds if the private entity defaults on the completion
729of the fund use in any manner or in the case of decertification
730as provided in this section. The amount of the bond shall be
731determined by the office in consultation with the Department of
732Revenue.
733     2.  Information on the private entity, including, but not
734limited to, its status as a Florida business and length of
735operation in the state, business or organizational structure,
736officers, and budget, including continued efforts in the area of
737spring training.
738     3.  Compliance with applicable requirements for
739certification pursuant to subsection (2).
740     4.  Compliance with requirements related to the use of
741funds in subsection (3).
742     5.  Annual compliance review and assessment as required in
743subsection (4).
744     6.  Agreement to allow the use of the facility, appurtenant
745property, and other property, whatever is subject to the
746contract, for public purposes.
747     (6)  DECERTIFICATION.-
748     (a)  The office shall decertify a certified applicant upon
749the request of the certified applicant.
750     (b)  The office shall decertify a certified applicant if
751the certified applicant does not:
752     1.  Have a valid agreement with a spring training
753franchise;
754     2.  Satisfy its commitment to provide local matching funds
755to the facility; or
756     3.  Satisfy the bond requirement in accordance with
757subsection (5).
758
759However, decertification proceedings against a local government
760certified before July 1, 2010, shall be delayed until 12 months
761after the expiration of the local government's existing
762agreement with a spring training franchise, and without a new
763agreement being signed, if the certified local government can
764demonstrate to the office that it is in active negotiations with
765a major league spring training franchise, other than the
766franchise that was the basis for the original certification.
767     (c)  A certified applicant has 60 days after it receives a
768notice of intent to decertify from the office to petition the
769office's director for review of the decertification. Within 45
770days after receipt of the request for review, the director must
771notify a certified applicant of the outcome of the review.
772     (d)  The office shall notify the Department of Revenue that
773a certified applicant is decertified within 10 days after the
774order of decertification becomes final. The Department of
775Revenue shall immediately stop the payment of any funds under
776this section that were not encumbered by the certified applicant
777under subparagraph (3)(a)2. or expended or contractually
778encumbered as directed under paragraph (3)(c) pursuant to
779contract requirements under subsection (5).
780     (e)  The office shall order a decertified applicant to
781repay all of the unencumbered state funds that the local
782government or private entity received under this section and any
783interest that accrued on those funds. The repayment must be made
784within 60 days after the decertification order becomes final.
785These funds shall be deposited into the General Revenue Fund.
786     (7)  ADDITIONAL CERTIFICATIONS.-If the office decertifies a
787unit of local government or a private entity, the office may
788accept applications for an additional certification. A unit of
789local government or a private entity may not be certified for
790more than one spring training franchise at any time.
791     (8)  STRATEGIC PLANNING.-
792     (a)  The office shall request assistance from the Florida
793Sports Foundation and the Florida Grapefruit League Association
794to develop a comprehensive strategic plan to:
795     1.  Finance spring training facilities.
796     2.  Monitor and oversee the use of state funds awarded to
797applicants.
798     3.  Identify the financial impact that spring training has
799on the state and ways in which to maintain or improve that
800impact.
801     4.  Identify opportunities to develop public-private
802partnerships to engage in marketing activities and advertise
803spring training baseball.
804     5.  Identify efforts made by other states to maintain or
805develop partnerships with baseball spring training teams.
806     6.  Develop recommendations for the Legislature to sustain
807or improve this state's spring training tradition.
808     (b)  The office shall submit a copy of the strategic plan
809to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of
810the House of Representatives by December 31, 2010.
811     (9)  RULEMAKING.-The office shall adopt rules to implement
812the certification, decertification, and decertification review
813processes required by this section.
814     (10)  AUDITS.-The Auditor General may conduct audits as
815provided in s. 11.45 to verify that the distributions under this
816section are expended as required in this section. If the Auditor
817General determines that the distributions under this section are
818not expended as required by this section, the Auditor General
819shall notify the Department of Revenue, which may pursue
820recovery of the funds under the laws and rules governing the
821assessment of taxes.
822     Section 6.  Subsection (1) of section 288.1229, Florida
823Statutes, is amended to read:
824     288.1229  Promotion and development of sports-related
825industries and amateur athletics; direct-support organization;
826powers and duties.-
827     (1)  The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development
828may authorize a direct-support organization to assist the office
829in:
830     (a)  The promotion and development of the sports industry
831and related industries for the purpose of improving the economic
832presence of these industries in Florida.
833     (b)  The promotion of amateur athletic participation for
834the citizens of Florida and the promotion of Florida as a host
835for national and international amateur athletic competitions for
836the purpose of encouraging and increasing the direct and
837ancillary economic benefits of amateur athletic events and
838competitions.
839     (c)  The retention of professional sports franchises,
840including the spring training operations of Major League
841Baseball.
842     Section 7.  An agreement with a spring training franchise
843relocating from one local government to another local government
844shall be recognized as a valid agreement under this act if the
845Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development approved the
846continuing release of funds to the local government to which the
847franchise relocated before the effective date of this act. The
848Legislature recognizes the validity of the agreement and
849acknowledges the authority of the Office of Tourism, Trade, and
850Economic Development to provide for the continuing release of
851funds to the local government under the terms of section
852288.1162, Florida Statutes, that were in effect before the
853effective date of this act.
854     Section 8.  This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.


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