July 04, 2020
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CS/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 spring
189training franchise. that has been certified as a "facility for a
190retained spring training franchise" pursuant to s. 288.1162;
191However, not more than $416,670 may be distributed monthly in
192the aggregate to all certified applicants for facilities for a
193retained spring training franchises franchise. Distributions
194must begin 60 days after following such certification and shall
195continue for not more than 30 years, except as otherwise
196provided in s. 288.11621. A certified applicant identified in
197this sub-subparagraph may not This paragraph may
198construed to allow an applicant certified pursuant to s.
199288.1162 to receive more in distributions than actually expended
200by the applicant for the public purposes provided for in s.
201288.1162(5) or s. 288.11621(3) s. 288.1162(6).
202     c.  Beginning 30 days after notice by the Office of
203Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development to the Department of
204Revenue that an applicant has been certified as the professional
205golf hall of fame pursuant to s. 288.1168 and is open to the
206public, $166,667 shall be distributed monthly, for up to 300
207months, to the applicant.
208     d.  Beginning 30 days after notice by the Office of
209Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development to the Department of
210Revenue that the applicant has been certified as the
211International Game Fish Association World Center facility
212pursuant to s. 288.1169, and the facility is open to the public,
213$83,333 shall be distributed monthly, for up to 168 months, to
214the applicant. This distribution is subject to reduction
215pursuant to s. 288.1169. A lump sum payment of $999,996 shall be
216made, after certification and before July 1, 2000.
217     7.  All other proceeds must remain in the General Revenue
218Fund.
219     Section 3.  Section 218.64, Florida Statutes, is amended to
220read:
221     218.64  Local government half-cent sales tax; uses;
222limitations.-
223     (1)  The proportion of the local government half-cent sales
224tax received by a county government based on two-thirds of the
225incorporated area population shall be deemed countywide revenues
226and shall be expended only for countywide tax relief or
227countywide programs. The remaining county government portion
228shall be deemed county revenues derived on behalf of the
229unincorporated area but may be expended on a countywide basis.
230     (2)  Municipalities shall expend their portions of the
231local government half-cent sales tax only for municipality-wide
232programs or for municipality-wide property tax or municipal
233utility tax relief. All utility tax rate reductions afforded by
234participation in the local government half-cent sales tax shall
235be applied uniformly across all types of taxed utility services.
236     (3)  Subject to ordinances enacted by the majority of the
237members of the county governing authority and by the majority of
238the members of the governing authorities of municipalities
239representing at least 50 percent of the municipal population of
240such county, counties may use up to $2 million annually of the
241local government half-cent sales tax allocated to that county
242for funding for any of the following applicants:
243     (a)  A certified applicant as a facility for a new or
244retained professional sports franchise under "facility for a new
245professional sports franchise," a "facility for a retained
246professional sports franchise," or a "facility for a retained
247spring training franchise," as provided for in s. 288.1162 or a
248certified applicant as defined in s. 288.11621 for a facility
249for a spring training franchise. It is the Legislature's intent
250that the provisions of s. 288.1162, including, but not limited
251to, the evaluation process by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and
252Economic Development except for the limitation on the number of
253certified applicants or facilities as provided in that section
254and the restrictions set forth in s. 288.1162(8) s. 288.1162(9),
255shall apply to an applicant's facility to be funded by local
256government as provided in this subsection.
257     (b)  A certified applicant as a "motorsport entertainment
258complex," as provided for in s. 288.1171. Funding for each
259franchise or motorsport complex shall begin 60 days after
260certification and shall continue for not more than 30 years.
261     (4)  A local government is authorized to pledge proceeds of
262the local government half-cent sales tax for the payment of
263principal and interest on any capital project.
264     Section 4.  Section 288.1162, Florida Statutes, is amended
265to read:
266     288.1162  Professional sports franchises; spring training
267franchises; duties.-
268     (1)  The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development
269shall serve as the state agency for screening applicants for
270state funding under pursuant to s. 212.20 and for certifying an
271applicant as a facility for a new or retained professional
272sports franchise. "facility for a new professional sports
273franchise," a "facility for a retained professional sports
274franchise," or a "facility for a retained spring training
275franchise."
276     (2)  The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development
277shall develop rules for the receipt and processing of
278applications for funding under pursuant to s. 212.20.
279     (3)  As used in this section, the term:
280     (a)  "New professional sports franchise" means a
281professional sports franchise that was is not based in this
282state before prior to April 1, 1987.
283     (b)  "Retained professional sports franchise" means a
284professional sports franchise that has had a league-authorized
285location in this state on or before December 31, 1976, and has
286continuously remained at that location, and has never been
287located at a facility that has been previously certified under
288any provision of this section.
289     (4)  Before Prior to certifying an applicant as a facility
290for a new or retained professional sports franchise, "facility
291for a new professional sports franchise" or a "facility for a
292retained professional sports franchise," the Office of Tourism,
293Trade, and Economic Development must determine that:
294     (a)  A "unit of local government" as defined in s. 218.369
295is responsible for the construction, management, or operation of
296the professional sports franchise facility or holds title to the
297property on which the professional sports franchise facility is
298located.
299     (b)  The applicant has a verified copy of a signed
300agreement with a new professional sports franchise for the use
301of the facility for a term of at least 10 years, or in the case
302of a retained professional sports franchise, an agreement for
303use of the facility for a term of at least 20 years.
304     (c)  The applicant has a verified copy of the approval from
305the governing authority of the league in which the new
306professional sports franchise exists authorizing the location of
307the professional sports franchise in this state after April 1,
3081987, or in the case of a retained professional sports
309franchise, verified evidence that it has had a league-authorized
310location in this state on or before December 31, 1976. As used
311in this section, the term "league" means the National League or
312the American League of Major League Baseball, the National
313Basketball Association, the National Football League, or the
314National Hockey League.
315     (d)  The applicant has projections, verified by the Office
316of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development, which demonstrate
317that the new or retained professional sports franchise will
318attract a paid attendance of more than 300,000 annually.
319     (e)  The applicant has an independent analysis or study,
320verified by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic
321Development, which demonstrates that the amount of the revenues
322generated by the taxes imposed under chapter 212 with respect to
323the use and operation of the professional sports franchise
324facility will equal or exceed $2 million annually.
325     (f)  The municipality in which the facility for a new or
326retained professional sports franchise is located, or the county
327if the facility for a new or retained professional sports
328franchise is located in an unincorporated area, has certified by
329resolution after a public hearing that the application serves a
330public purpose.
331     (g)  The applicant has demonstrated that it has provided,
332is capable of providing, or has financial or other commitments
333to provide more than one-half of the costs incurred or related
334to the improvement and development of the facility.
335     (h)  An No applicant previously certified under any
336provision of this section who has received funding under such
337certification is not shall be eligible for an additional
338certification.
339     (5)(a)  As used in this section, the term "retained spring
340training franchise" means a spring training franchise that has
341been based in this state prior to January 1, 2000.
342     (b)  Prior to certifying an applicant as a "facility for a
343retained spring training franchise," the Office of Tourism,
344Trade, and Economic Development must determine that:
345     1.  A "unit of local government" as defined in s. 218.369
346is responsible for the acquisition, construction, management, or
347operation of the facility for a retained spring training
348franchise or holds title to the property on which the facility
349for a retained spring training franchise is located.
350     2.  The applicant has a verified copy of a signed agreement
351with a retained spring training franchise for the use of the
352facility for a term of at least 15 years.
353     3.  The applicant has a financial commitment to provide 50
354percent or more of the funds required by an agreement for the
355acquisition, construction, or renovation of the facility for a
356retained spring training franchise. The agreement can be
357contingent upon the awarding of funds under this section and
358other conditions precedent to use by the spring training
359franchise.
360     4.  The applicant has projections, verified by the Office
361of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development, which demonstrate
362that the facility for a retained spring training franchise will
363attract a paid attendance of at least 50,000 annually.
364     5.  The facility for a retained spring training franchise
365is located in a county that is levying a tourist development tax
366pursuant to s. 125.0104.
367     (c)1.  The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic
368Development shall competitively evaluate applications for
369funding of a facility for a retained spring training franchise.
370Applications must be submitted by October 1, 2000, with
371certifications to be made by January 1, 2001. If the number of
372applicants exceeds five and the aggregate funding request of all
373applications exceeds $208,335 per month, the office shall rank
374the applications according to a selection criteria, certifying
375the highest ranked proposals. The evaluation criteria shall
376include, with priority given in descending order to the
377following items:
378     a.  The intended use of the funds by the applicant, with
379priority given to the construction of a new facility.
380     b.  The length of time that the existing franchise has been
381located in the state, with priority given to retaining
382franchises that have been in the same location the longest.
383     c.  The length of time that a facility to be used by a
384retained spring training franchise has been used by one or more
385spring training franchises, with priority given to a facility
386that has been in continuous use as a facility for spring
387training the longest.
388     d.  For those teams leasing a spring training facility from
389a unit of local government, the remaining time on the lease for
390facilities used by the spring training franchise, with priority
391given to the shortest time period remaining on the lease.
392     e.  The duration of the future-use agreement with the
393retained spring training franchise, with priority given to the
394future-use agreement having the longest duration.
395     f.  The amount of the local match, with priority given to
396the largest percentage of local match proposed.
397     g.  The net increase of total active recreation space owned
398by the applying unit of local government following the
399acquisition of land for the spring training facility, with
400priority given to the largest percentage increase of total
401active recreation space.
402     h.  The location of the facility in a brownfield, an
403enterprise zone, a community redevelopment area, or other area
404of targeted development or revitalization included in an Urban
405Infill Redevelopment Plan, with priority given to facilities
406located in these areas.
407     i.  The projections on paid attendance attracted by the
408facility and the proposed effect on the economy of the local
409community, with priority given to the highest projected paid
410attendance.
411     2.  Beginning July 1, 2006, the Office of Tourism, Trade,
412and Economic Development shall competitively evaluate
413applications for funding of facilities for retained spring
414training franchises in addition to those certified and funded
415under subparagraph 1. An applicant that is a unit of government
416that has an agreement for a retained spring training franchise
417for 15 or more years which was entered into between July 1,
4182003, and July 1, 2004, shall be eligible for funding.
419Applications must be submitted by October 1, 2006, with
420certifications to be made by January 1, 2007. The office shall
421rank the applications according to selection criteria,
422certifying no more than five proposals. The aggregate funding
423request of all applicants certified shall not exceed an
424aggregate funding request of $208,335 per month. The evaluation
425criteria shall include the following, with priority given in
426descending order:
427     a.  The intended use of the funds by the applicant for
428acquisition or construction of a new facility.
429     b.  The intended use of the funds by the applicant to
430renovate a facility.
431     c.  The length of time that a facility to be used by a
432retained spring training franchise has been used by one or more
433spring training franchises, with priority given to a facility
434that has been in continuous use as a facility for spring
435training the longest.
436     d.  For those teams leasing a spring training facility from
437a unit of local government, the remaining time on the lease for
438facilities used by the spring training franchise, with priority
439given to the shortest time period remaining on the lease. For
440consideration under this subparagraph, the remaining time on the
441lease shall not exceed 5 years, unless an agreement of 15 years
442or more was entered into between July 1, 2003, and July 1, 2004.
443     e.  The duration of the future-use agreement with the
444retained spring training franchise, with priority given to the
445future-use agreement having the longest duration.
446     f.  The amount of the local match, with priority given to
447the largest percentage of local match proposed.
448     g.  The net increase of total active recreation space owned
449by the applying unit of local government following the
450acquisition of land for the spring training facility, with
451priority given to the largest percentage increase of total
452active recreation space.
453     h.  The location of the facility in a brownfield area, an
454enterprise zone, a community redevelopment area, or another area
455of targeted development or revitalization included in an urban
456infill redevelopment plan, with priority given to facilities
457located in those areas.
458     i.  The projections on paid attendance attracted by the
459facility and the proposed effect on the economy of the local
460community, with priority given to the highest projected paid
461attendance.
462     (d)  Funds may not be expended to subsidize privately owned
463and maintained facilities for use by the spring training
464franchise. Funds may be used to relocate a retained spring
465training franchise to another unit of local government only if
466the existing unit of local government with the retained spring
467training franchise agrees to the relocation.
468     (5)(6)  An applicant certified as a facility for a new or
469retained professional sports franchise or a facility for a
470retained professional sports franchise or as a facility for a
471retained spring training franchise may use funds provided under
472pursuant to s. 212.20 only for the public purpose of paying for
473the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, or renovation of
474a facility for a new or retained professional sports franchise,
475a facility for a retained professional sports franchise, or a
476facility for a retained spring training franchise or to pay or
477pledge for the payment of debt service on, or to fund debt
478service reserve funds, arbitrage rebate obligations, or other
479amounts payable with respect to, bonds issued for the
480acquisition, construction, reconstruction, or renovation of such
481facility or for the reimbursement of such costs or the
482refinancing of bonds issued for such purposes.
483     (6)(7)(a)  The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic
484Development shall notify the Department of Revenue of any
485facility certified as a facility for a new or retained
486professional sports franchise or a facility for a retained
487professional sports franchise or as a facility for a retained
488spring training franchise. The Office of Tourism, Trade, and
489Economic Development shall certify no more than eight facilities
490as facilities for a new professional sports franchise or as
491facilities for a retained professional sports franchise,
492including in the such total any facilities certified by the
493former Department of Commerce before July 1, 1996. The number of
494facilities certified as a retained spring training franchise
495shall be as provided in subsection (5). The office may make no
496more than one certification for any facility. The office may not
497certify funding for less than the requested amount to any
498applicant certified as a facility for a retained spring training
499franchise.
500     (b)  The eighth certification of an applicant under this
501section as a facility for a new or retained professional sports
502franchise or a facility for a retained professional sports
503franchise shall be for a franchise that is a member of the
504National Basketball Association, has been located within the
505state since 1987, and has not been previously certified. This
506paragraph is repealed July 1, 2010.
507     (7)(8)  The Auditor General Department of Revenue may
508conduct audits audit as provided in s. 11.45 s. 213.34 to verify
509that the distributions under pursuant to this section are have
510been expended as required in this section. Such information is
511subject to the confidentiality requirements of chapter 213. If
512the Auditor General Department of Revenue determines that the
513distributions under pursuant to this section are have not been
514expended as required by this section, the Auditor General shall
515notify the Department of Revenue, which it may pursue recovery
516of the such funds under pursuant to the laws and rules governing
517the assessment of taxes.
518     (8)(9)  An applicant is not qualified for certification
519under this section if the franchise formed the basis for a
520previous certification, unless the previous certification was
521withdrawn by the facility or invalidated by the Office of
522Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development or the former
523Department of Commerce before any funds were distributed under
524pursuant to s. 212.20. This subsection does not disqualify an
525applicant if the previous certification occurred between May 23,
5261993, and May 25, 1993; however, any funds to be distributed
527under pursuant to s. 212.20 for the second certification shall
528be offset by the amount distributed to the previous certified
529facility. Distribution of funds for the second certification
530shall not be made until all amounts payable for the first
531certification are have been distributed.
532     Section 5.  Section 288.11621, Florida Statutes, is created
533to read:
534     288.11621  Spring training baseball franchises.-
535     (1)  DEFINITIONS.-As used in this section, the term:
536     (a)  "Agreement" means a certified, signed lease between an
537applicant that applies for certification on or after July 1,
5382010, and the spring training franchise for the use of a
539facility.
540     (b)  "Applicant" means a unit of local government as
541defined in s. 218.369, including local governments located in
542the same county that have partnered with a certified applicant
543before the effective date of this section or with an applicant
544for a new certification, for purposes of sharing in the
545responsibilities of a facility, or a private entity.
546     (c)  "Certified applicant" means a facility for a spring
547training franchise that was certified before July 1, 2010, under
548s. 288.1162(5), Florida Statutes 2009, or a unit of local
549government or a private entity that is certified under this
550section.
551     (d)  "Facility" means a spring training stadium, playing
552fields, and appurtenances intended to support spring training
553activities.
554     (e)  "Local funds" and "local matching funds" mean funds
555provided by a county, municipality, or other local government;
556funds provided by a private entity; or a combination of such
557funds.
558     (f)  "Office" means the Office of Tourism, Trade, and
559Economic Development.
560     (2)  CERTIFICATION PROCESS.-
561     (a)  Before certifying an applicant to receive state
562funding for a facility for a spring training franchise, the
563office must verify that:
564     1.  The applicant is responsible for the acquisition,
565construction, management, or operation of the facility for a
566spring training franchise or holds title to the property on
567which the facility for a spring training franchise is located.
568     2.  The applicant has a certified copy of a signed
569agreement with a spring training franchise for the use of the
570facility for a term of at least 20 years. The agreement also
571must require the franchise to reimburse the state for state
572funds expended by an applicant under this section if the
573franchise relocates before the agreement expires. The agreement
574may be contingent on an award of funds under this section and
575other conditions precedent.
576     3.  The applicant has made a financial commitment to
577provide 50 percent or more of the funds required by an agreement
578for the acquisition, construction, or renovation of the facility
579for a spring training franchise. The commitment may be
580contingent upon an award of funds under this section and other
581conditions precedent.
582     4.  The applicant demonstrates that the facility for a
583spring training franchise will attract a paid attendance of at
584least 50,000 annually to the spring training games.
585     5.  The facility for a spring training franchise is located
586in a county that levies a tourist development tax under s.
587125.0104.
588     6.  The applicant, if a private entity, demonstrates that
589it can be bonded for an amount that it anticipates to be
590required by the office and the Department of Revenue in
591accordance with subsection (5).
592     (b)  The office shall competitively evaluate applications
593for state funding of a facility for a spring training franchise.
594The total number of certifications may not exceed 10 at any
595time. The evaluation criteria must include, with priority given
596in descending order to, the following items:
597     1.  The anticipated effect on the economy of the local
598community where the spring training facility is to be built,
599including projections on paid attendance, local and state tax
600collections generated by spring training games, and direct and
601indirect job creation resulting from the spring training
602activities. Priority shall be given to applicants who can
603demonstrate the largest projected economic impact.
604     2.  The amount of the local matching funds committed to a
605facility relative to the amount of state funding sought, with
606priority given to applicants that commit the largest amount of
607local matching funds relative to the amount of state funding
608sought.
609     3.  The potential for the facility to serve multiple uses.
610     4.  The intended use of the funds by the applicant, with
611priority given to the funds being used to acquire a facility,
612construct a new facility, or renovate an existing facility.
613     5.  The length of time that a spring training franchise has
614been under an agreement to conduct spring training activities
615within an applicant's geographic location or jurisdiction, with
616priority given to applicants having agreements with the same
617franchise for the longest period of time.
618     6.  The length of time that an applicant's facility has
619been used by one or more spring training franchises, with
620priority given to applicants whose facilities have been in
621continuous use as facilities for spring training the longest.
622     7.  The term remaining on a lease between an applicant and
623a spring training franchise for a facility, with priority given
624to applicants having the shortest lease terms remaining.
625     8.  The length of time that a spring training franchise
626agrees to use an applicant's facility if an application is
627granted under this section, with priority given to applicants
628having agreements for the longest future use.
629     9.  The net increase of total active recreation space owned
630by the applicant after an acquisition of land for the facility,
631with priority given to applicants having the largest percentage
632increase of total active recreation space that will be available
633for public use.
634     10.  The location of the facility in a brownfield, an
635enterprise zone, a community redevelopment area, or other area
636of targeted development or revitalization included in an urban
637infill redevelopment plan, with priority given to applicants
638having facilities located in these areas.
639     (c)  Each applicant certified on or after July 1, 2010,
640shall enter into an agreement with the office that:
641     1.  Specifies the amount of the state incentive funding to
642be distributed.
643     2.  States the criteria that the certified applicant must
644meet in order to remain certified.
645     3.  States that the certified applicant is subject to
646decertification if the certified applicant fails to comply with
647this section or the agreement.
648     4.  States that the office may recover state incentive
649funds if the certified applicant is decertified.
650     5.  Specifies information that the certified applicant must
651report to the office.
652     6.  Includes any provision deemed prudent by the office.
653     (3)  USE OF FUNDS.-
654     (a)  A certified applicant may use funds provided under s.
655212.20(6)(d)6.b. only to:
656     1.  Serve the public purpose of acquiring, constructing,
657reconstructing, or renovating a facility for a spring training
658franchise.
659     2.  Pay or pledge for the payment of debt service on, or to
660fund debt service reserve funds, arbitrage rebate obligations,
661or other amounts payable with respect thereto, bonds issued for
662the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, or renovation of
663such facility, or for the reimbursement of such costs or the
664refinancing of bonds issued for such purposes.
665     3.  Assist in the relocation of a spring training franchise
666from one unit of local government to another or to or from the
667location of a private entity to another private entity or to a
668unit of local government.
669     (b)  State funds awarded to a certified applicant for a
670facility for a spring training franchise may not be used to
671subsidize facilities that are privately owned, maintained, and
672used only by a spring training franchise.
673     (c)  The Department of Revenue may not distribute funds to
674an applicant certified on or after July 1, 2010, until it
675receives notice from the office that the certified applicant has
676encumbered funds under subparagraph (a)2. or has expended funds
677or contractually encumbered funds for the acquisition,
678construction, reconstruction, or renovation of a facility for
679spring training pursuant to the contract requirements in
680subsection (5).
681     (d)1.  All certified applicants must place unexpended state
682funds received pursuant to s. 212.20(6)(d)6.b. in a trust fund
683or separate account for use only as authorized in this section.
684     2.  A certified applicant may request that the Department
685of Revenue suspend further distributions of state funds made
686available under s. 212.20(6)(d)6.b. for 12 months after
687expiration of an existing agreement with a spring training
688franchise to provide the certified applicant with an opportunity
689to enter into a new agreement with a spring training franchise,
690at which time the distributions shall resume.
691     3.  The expenditure of state funds distributed to an
692applicant certified before July 1, 2010, must begin within 48
693months after the initial receipt of the state funds. In
694addition, the construction of, or capital improvements to, a
695spring training facility must be completed within 24 months
696after the project's commencement.
697     (4)  ANNUAL REPORTS.-On or before September 1 of each year,
698a certified applicant shall submit to the office a report that
699includes, but is not limited to:
700     (a)  A copy of its most recent annual audit.
701     (b)  A detailed report on all local and state funds
702expended to date on the project being financed under this
703section.
704     (c)  A copy of the contract between the certified local
705governmental entity or certified private entity and the spring
706training team.
707     (d)  A cost-benefit analysis of the team's impact on the
708community.
709     (e)  Evidence that the certified applicant continues to
710meet the criteria in effect when the applicant was certified.
711     (f)  For purposes of a certified applicant that is a
712private entity, a list of all uses of the facility and
713appurtenant property for public purposes during the preceding
714calendar year.
715     (5)  CONTRACT REQUIREMENTS FOR CERTIFIED APPLICANT THAT IS
716A PRIVATE ENTITY.-
717     (a)  In order for a private entity applicant that is
718certified under subsection (2) to receive funding under s.
719212.20(6)(d), a contract must be executed between the applicant
720and the office to ensure the protection of the state's financial
721interests.
722     (b)  The contract must, at a minimum, include the
723following:
724     1.  Required maintenance of a bond by the private entity
725that will be sufficient to cover the funding received, ensure
726the proper use of funds, and ensure a mechanism for the state to
727recover funds if the private entity defaults on the completion
728of the fund use in any manner or in the case of decertification
729as provided in this section. The amount of the bond shall be
730determined by the office in consultation with the Department of
731Revenue.
732     2.  Information on the private entity, including, but not
733limited to, its status as a Florida business and length of
734operation in the state, business or organizational structure,
735officers, and budget, including continued efforts in the area of
736spring training.
737     3.  Compliance with applicable requirements for
738certification pursuant to subsection (2).
739     4.  Compliance with requirements related to the use of
740funds in subsection (3).
741     5.  Annual compliance review and assessment as required in
742subsection (4).
743     6.  Agreement to allow the use of the facility, appurtenant
744property, and other property, whatever is subject to the
745contract, for public purposes.
746     (6)  DECERTIFICATION.-
747     (a)  The office shall decertify a certified applicant upon
748the request of the certified applicant.
749     (b)  The office shall decertify a certified applicant if
750the certified applicant does not:
751     1.  Have a valid agreement with a spring training
752franchise;
753     2.  Satisfy its commitment to provide local matching funds
754to the facility; or
755     3.  Satisfy the bond requirement in accordance with
756subsection (5).
757
758However, decertification proceedings against a local government
759certified before July 1, 2010, shall be delayed until 12 months
760after the expiration of the local government's existing
761agreement with a spring training franchise, and without a new
762agreement being signed, if the certified local government can
763demonstrate to the office that it is in active negotiations with
764a major league spring training franchise, other than the
765franchise that was the basis for the original certification.
766     (c)  A certified applicant has 60 days after it receives a
767notice of intent to decertify from the office to petition the
768office's director for review of the decertification. Within 45
769days after receipt of the request for review, the director must
770notify a certified applicant of the outcome of the review.
771     (d)  The office shall notify the Department of Revenue that
772a certified applicant is decertified within 10 days after the
773order of decertification becomes final. The Department of
774Revenue shall immediately stop the payment of any funds under
775this section that were not encumbered by the certified applicant
776under subparagraph (3)(a)2. or expended or contractually
777encumbered as directed under paragraph (3)(c) pursuant to
778contract requirements under subsection (5).
779     (e)  The office shall order a decertified applicant to
780repay all of the unencumbered state funds that the local
781government or private entity received under this section and any
782interest that accrued on those funds. The repayment must be made
783within 60 days after the decertification order becomes final.
784These funds shall be deposited into the General Revenue Fund.
785     (7)  ADDITIONAL CERTIFICATIONS.-If the office decertifies a
786unit of local government or a private entity, the office may
787accept applications for an additional certification. A unit of
788local government or a private entity may not be certified for
789more than one spring training franchise at any time.
790     (8)  STRATEGIC PLANNING.-
791     (a)  The office shall request assistance from the Florida
792Sports Foundation and the Florida Grapefruit League Association
793to develop a comprehensive strategic plan to:
794     1.  Finance spring training facilities.
795     2.  Monitor and oversee the use of state funds awarded to
796applicants.
797     3.  Identify the financial impact that spring training has
798on the state and ways in which to maintain or improve that
799impact.
800     4.  Identify opportunities to develop public-private
801partnerships to engage in marketing activities and advertise
802spring training baseball.
803     5.  Identify efforts made by other states to maintain or
804develop partnerships with baseball spring training teams.
805     6.  Develop recommendations for the Legislature to sustain
806or improve this state's spring training tradition.
807     (b)  The office shall submit a copy of the strategic plan
808to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of
809the House of Representatives by December 31, 2010.
810     (9)  RULEMAKING.-The office shall adopt rules to implement
811the certification, decertification, and decertification review
812processes required by this section.
813     (10)  AUDITS.-The Auditor General may conduct audits as
814provided in s. 11.45 to verify that the distributions under this
815section are expended as required in this section. If the Auditor
816General determines that the distributions under this section are
817not expended as required by this section, the Auditor General
818shall notify the Department of Revenue, which may pursue
819recovery of the funds under the laws and rules governing the
820assessment of taxes.
821     Section 6.  Subsection (1) of section 288.1229, Florida
822Statutes, is amended to read:
823     288.1229  Promotion and development of sports-related
824industries and amateur athletics; direct-support organization;
825powers and duties.-
826     (1)  The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development
827may authorize a direct-support organization to assist the office
828in:
829     (a)  The promotion and development of the sports industry
830and related industries for the purpose of improving the economic
831presence of these industries in Florida.
832     (b)  The promotion of amateur athletic participation for
833the citizens of Florida and the promotion of Florida as a host
834for national and international amateur athletic competitions for
835the purpose of encouraging and increasing the direct and
836ancillary economic benefits of amateur athletic events and
837competitions.
838     (c)  The retention of professional sports franchises,
839including the spring training operations of Major League
840Baseball.
841     Section 7.  An agreement with a spring training franchise
842relocating from one local government to another local government
843shall be recognized as a valid agreement under this act if the
844Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development approved the
845continuing release of funds to the local government to which the
846franchise relocated before the effective date of this act. The
847Legislature recognizes the validity of the agreement and
848acknowledges the authority of the Office of Tourism, Trade, and
849Economic Development to provide for the continuing release of
850funds to the local government under the terms of section
851288.1162, Florida Statutes, that were in effect before the
852effective date of this act.
853     Section 8.  This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.


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