September 17, 2019
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       Florida Senate - 2010                                    SB 1408
       
       
       
       By the Committee on Finance and Tax
       
       
       
       
       593-01637-10                                          20101408__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to working waterfront property;
    3         creating s. 193.704, F.S.; providing legislative
    4         intent; defining terms; specifying property that is
    5         eligible for classification as working waterfront
    6         property; requiring the assessment of working
    7         waterfront property based on current use; requiring an
    8         application for classification of property as working
    9         waterfront property; authorizing a property appraiser
   10         to approve an application that is not filed by a
   11         certain deadline due to extenuating circumstances;
   12         providing for the waiver of annual application
   13         requirements; providing for the loss of classification
   14         upon a change of ownership or use; requiring that
   15         property owners notify the property appraiser of
   16         changes in use or ownership of property; imposing a
   17         penalty on a property owner who fails to notify the
   18         property appraiser of an event resulting in the
   19         unlawful or improper classification of property as
   20         working waterfront property; requiring the imposition
   21         of tax liens to recover penalties and interest;
   22         providing for the assessment of a portion of property
   23         within a working waterfront property which is not used
   24         as working waterfront property; requiring that a
   25         property appraiser make a list relating to
   26         applications to certify property as working waterfront
   27         property; providing an appeal process for an
   28         application that has been denied; amending s. 195.073,
   29         F.S.; providing for the classification of land as
   30         working waterfront property on an assessment roll;
   31         providing for severability; providing for retroactive
   32         application; providing an effective date.
   33  
   34  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   35  
   36         Section 1. Section 193.704, Florida Statutes, is created to
   37  read:
   38         193.704 Working waterfront property; definitions;
   39  classification and assessment; denial of classification and
   40  appeal.—
   41         (1) INTENT.—The Legislature recognizes that Florida’s
   42  traditional working waterfronts are important to the state’s
   43  heritage and economic vitality, and that the conversion of
   44  working waterfronts to exclusively private uses limits public
   45  access to the state’s waterways for recreational boating,
   46  fishing, and other commercial water-dependent activities. The
   47  Legislature also recognizes that the conversion of traditional
   48  working waterfronts to exclusively private uses often causes an
   49  increase in property taxes on nearby working waterfronts when
   50  these waterfronts are assessed at their highest and best use. It
   51  is the intent of the Legislature that working waterfront
   52  property, including water-dependent commercial transportation
   53  facilities and their water-dependent support facilities, shall
   54  be assessed at the property’s current use, as provided by s.
   55  4(j), Art. VII of the State Constitution.
   56         (2) DEFINITIONS.—For purposes of granting a working
   57  waterfront property classification under this section for
   58  January 1, 2010, and thereafter, the term:
   59         (a) “Accessible to the public” means routinely available to
   60  the public from sunrise to sunset, with or without charge, with
   61  appropriate accommodations, including, but not limited to,
   62  public parking or public boat ramps that are available for use
   63  by the general public.
   64         (b) “Commercial fishing facility” means docks, piers,
   65  processing houses, or other facilities that support a commercial
   66  fishing operation or an aquaculture operation certified under
   67  chapter 597.
   68         (c) “Commercial fishing operation” has the same meaning as
   69  provided in s. 379.2351.
   70         (d) “Drystack” means a vessel storage facility or building
   71  in which storage spaces for vessels are available for use by the
   72  public on a first-come, first-served basis, with no automatic
   73  renewal rights or conditions. The term excludes storage that is
   74  purchased, received, or rented as a result of homeownership or
   75  tenancy.
   76         (e) “Land used predominantly for commercial fishing
   77  purposes” means land used in good faith in a for-profit
   78  commercial fishing operation for the taking or harvesting of
   79  freshwater fish or saltwater products, as defined in s. 379.101,
   80  for which a commercial license to take, harvest, or sell such
   81  fish or products is required under chapter 379, or land used in
   82  an aquaculture operation certified under chapter 597.
   83         (f) “Marina” means a licensed commercial facility that
   84  provides secured public moorings or drystacks for vessels on a
   85  first-come, first-served basis, with no automatic renewal rights
   86  or conditions. The term excludes mooring or storage that is
   87  purchased, received, or rented as a result of homeownership or
   88  tenancy.
   89         (g) “Marine manufacturing facility” means a facility that
   90  manufactures vessels for use in waters that are navigable.
   91         (h) “Marine vessel construction and repair facility” means
   92  a facility that constructs and repairs vessels that travel over
   93  waters that are navigable, including, but not limited to,
   94  shipyards and boatyards. As used in this section, the term
   95  “repair” includes retrofitting and maintenance of vessels.
   96         (i) “Open to the public” means for hire to the general
   97  public and accessible during normal operating hours.
   98         (j) “Support facility” means a facility that typically is
   99  colocated with marine vessel construction and repair facilities,
  100  including, but not limited to, shops, equipment, and salvage
  101  facilities.
  102         (k) “Water-dependent” means an activity that can be
  103  conducted only on, in, over, or adjacent to waters that are
  104  navigable and that requires direct access to water and involves
  105  the use of water as an integral part of such activity.
  106         (l) “Waterfront” means property that is on, over, or
  107  abutting waters that are navigable. Property that is separated
  108  from property abutting waters that are navigable by a public
  109  right of way may be considered waterfront property, if the
  110  property on both sides of the public right of way is under
  111  common ownership and the property that is separated by the
  112  public right of way has direct access to the water by crossing
  113  the public right of way.
  114         (m) “Waters that are navigable” means any body of water
  115  that is subject to the ebb and flow of the tide, connects with
  116  continuous interstate waterway, has navigable capacity, and is
  117  actually navigable.
  118         (3) CLASSIFICATION AND ASSESSMENT; LOSS; PENALTY.—
  119         (a) The following waterfront properties are eligible for
  120  classification as working waterfront property:
  121         1. Land used predominantly for commercial fishing purposes.
  122         2. Land that is accessible to the public and used for
  123  vessel launches into waters that are navigable.
  124         3. Marinas and drystacks that are open to the public.
  125         4. Water-dependent marine manufacturing facilities.
  126         5. Water-dependent commercial fishing facilities.
  127         6. Water-dependent marine vessel construction and repair
  128  facilities and their support facilities.
  129         7.Water-dependent facilities used for the commercial
  130  transportation of goods and people.
  131         8. Water-dependent facilities used for activities that
  132  support the commercial transportation of goods and people. These
  133  activities include, but are not limited to, towing, storage, and
  134  salvage.
  135         (b) Property classified as working waterfront property
  136  under this section shall be assessed on the basis of current
  137  use.
  138         1. If the income approach to valuation is appropriate to
  139  the property and if adequate local data on market rental rates,
  140  expense rates, and vacancy rates are available, the assessed
  141  value shall be calculated using the income approach to value,
  142  using a capitalization rate based upon the debt coverage ratio
  143  formula, adjusted for the effective tax rate and the percentage
  144  of equity multiplied by the equity yield rate. The
  145  capitalization rate shall be calculated and updated annually and
  146  shall be based on local data.
  147         2.If the conditions required for assessment under
  148  subparagraph 1. are not satisfied, the property appraiser shall
  149  value the property at its present cash value as if it were
  150  required to remain in its current working waterfront use.
  151         3. In no event shall the assessed value of the property
  152  exceed just value.
  153         (c)1.Property may not be classified as working waterfront
  154  property unless an application for such classification is filed
  155  with the property appraiser on or before March 1 of each year in
  156  the county in which the property is located. Before approving
  157  such classification, the property appraiser may require the
  158  applicant to establish that the property is actually used as
  159  required under this section. The property appraiser may require
  160  the applicant to furnish the property appraiser such information
  161  as may reasonably be required to establish that such property
  162  was actually used for working waterfront purposes, and to
  163  establish the classified use value of the property, including
  164  income and expense data. The owner or lessee of the property
  165  classified as working waterfront property in the prior year may
  166  reapply on a short form provided by the Department of Revenue.
  167  The lessee of property may make original application or reapply
  168  on a short form if the lease, or an affidavit executed by the
  169  owner, provides that the lessee is empowered to make application
  170  for the working waterfront classification on behalf of the owner
  171  and a copy of the lease or affidavit accompanies the
  172  application. An applicant may withdraw an application on or
  173  before the 25th day following the mailing of the notice of
  174  proposed property taxes pursuant to s. 200.069 in the year the
  175  application was filed.
  176         2. Failure of a property owner or lessee to apply for a
  177  classification as working waterfront property by March 1
  178  constitutes a waiver for 1 year of the privilege granted in this
  179  section. However, a person who is qualified to receive a working
  180  waterfront classification but who fails to timely apply for
  181  classification may file an application for classification with
  182  the property appraiser on or before the 25th day following the
  183  mailing of proposed property taxes pursuant to s. 200.069. Upon
  184  review of the application, if the applicant is qualified to
  185  receive the classification and demonstrates particular
  186  extenuating circumstances that warrant the classification, the
  187  property appraiser may grant the classification.
  188         3. A county, at the request of the property appraiser and
  189  by a majority vote of its governing body, may waive the
  190  requirement that an annual application or short form be filed
  191  with the property appraiser for renewal of the classification of
  192  property within the county as working waterfront property. Such
  193  waiver may be revoked by a majority of the county governing
  194  body.
  195         4. Notwithstanding subparagraph 2., a new application for
  196  classification as working waterfront property must be filed with
  197  the property appraiser whenever any property granted the
  198  classification as working waterfront property is sold or
  199  otherwise disposed of, whenever ownership or the lessee changes
  200  in any manner, whenever the owner or the lessee ceases to use
  201  the property as working waterfront property, or whenever the
  202  status of the owner or the lessee changes so as to change the
  203  classified status of the property.
  204         5. The property appraiser shall remove from the
  205  classification as working waterfront property any property for
  206  which the classified use has been abandoned or discontinued, or
  207  if the property has been diverted to an unclassified use. Such
  208  removed property shall be assessed at just value as provided in
  209  s. 193.011.
  210         6.a. The owner of any property classified as working
  211  waterfront property who is not required to file an annual
  212  application under this section, and the lessee if the
  213  application was made by the lessee, shall notify the property
  214  appraiser promptly whenever the use of the property or the
  215  status or condition of the owner or lessee changes so as to
  216  change the classified status of the property. If any such
  217  property owner or lessee fails to notify the property appraiser
  218  and the property appraiser determines that for any year within
  219  the prior 10 years the owner was not entitled to receive such
  220  classification, the owner of the property is subject to taxes
  221  otherwise due and owing as a result of such failure plus 15
  222  percent interest per annum and a penalty of 50 percent of the
  223  additional taxes owed. However, the penalty may be waived if the
  224  owner or lessee can demonstrate that they took reasonable care
  225  to notify the property appraiser of the change in use, status,
  226  or condition of the property.
  227         b. The property appraiser making such determination shall
  228  record in the public records of the county in which the working
  229  waterfront property is located a notice of tax lien against any
  230  property owned by the working waterfront property owner, and
  231  such property must be identified in the notice of tax lien. Such
  232  property is subject to the payment of all taxes and penalties.
  233  Such lien, when filed, attaches to any property identified in
  234  the notice of tax lien owned by the person or entity that
  235  illegally or improperly received the classification. If such
  236  person or entity no longer owns property in that county but owns
  237  property in another county or counties in the state, the
  238  property appraiser shall record in such other county or counties
  239  a notice of tax lien identifying the property owned by the
  240  working waterfront property owner in such county or counties
  241  which shall become a lien against the identified property.
  242         7. When a parcel contains both uses eligible for assessment
  243  under this section and uses that are not eligible for assessment
  244  under this section, those portions of the property that are not
  245  eligible for assessment under this section must be assessed
  246  separately as otherwise provided by this chapter.
  247         8. The property appraiser shall have available at his or
  248  her office a list by ownership of all applications for
  249  classification as working waterfront property received, showing
  250  the acreage, the just valuation under s. 193.011, the value of
  251  the land under the provisions of this subsection, and whether
  252  the classification was granted.
  253         (4) DENIAL OF CLASSIFICATION; APPEAL.—
  254         (a) If an application for working waterfront classification
  255  is made by March 1, the property appraiser shall notify the
  256  applicant in writing of a denial of the application on or before
  257  July 1 of the year for which the application was filed. The
  258  notification shall advise the applicant of his or her right to
  259  appeal to the value adjustment board and of the appeal filing
  260  deadline.
  261         (b) Any applicant whose application for classification as
  262  working waterfront property is denied by the property appraiser
  263  may appeal to the value adjustment board by filing a petition
  264  requesting that the classification be granted. The petition may
  265  be filed on or before the 25th day following the mailing of the
  266  assessment notice by the property appraiser as required under s.
  267  194.011(1). Notwithstanding s. 194.013, the petitioner shall pay
  268  a nonrefundable fee of $15 upon filing the petition. Upon the
  269  value adjustment board’s review of the petition, if the
  270  petitioner is qualified to receive the classification and
  271  demonstrates particular extenuating circumstances that warrant
  272  granting the classification, the value adjustment board may
  273  grant the petition and classification.
  274         (c) A denial of a petition for classification by the value
  275  adjustment board may be appealed to a court of competent
  276  jurisdiction.
  277         (d)1. Property that has received a working waterfront
  278  classification from the value adjustment board or a court of
  279  competent jurisdiction under this subsection is entitled to
  280  receive such classification in any subsequent year until such
  281  use is changed, abandoned, or discontinued, or the ownership
  282  changes in any manner as provided in subparagraph (3)(c)4. The
  283  property appraiser shall, no later than January 31 of each year,
  284  provide notice to the property owner or lessee receiving a
  285  classification under this subsection requiring the property
  286  owner or a lessee qualified to make application to certify that
  287  the ownership and the use of the property has not changed. The
  288  department shall prescribe by rule the form of the notice to be
  289  used by the property appraiser.
  290         2. If a county has waived the requirement that an annual
  291  application or short form be filed for classification of the
  292  property under subsection (3), the county may, by majority vote
  293  of its governing body, waive the notice and certification
  294  requirements of this paragraph and shall provide the property
  295  owner or lessee with the same notification as provided to
  296  property owners granted a working waterfront classification by
  297  the property appraiser. Such waiver may be revoked by a majority
  298  vote of the county governing body.
  299         Section 2. Subsection (1) of section 195.073, Florida
  300  Statutes, is amended to read:
  301         195.073 Classification of property.—All items required by
  302  law to be on the assessment rolls must receive a classification
  303  based upon the use of the property. The department shall
  304  promulgate uniform definitions for all classifications. The
  305  department may designate other subclassifications of property.
  306  No assessment roll may be approved by the department which does
  307  not show proper classifications.
  308         (1) Real property must be classified according to the
  309  assessment basis of the land into the following classes:
  310         (a) Residential, subclassified into categories, one
  311  category for homestead property and one for nonhomestead
  312  property:
  313         1. Single family.
  314         2. Mobile homes.
  315         3. Multifamily.
  316         4. Condominiums.
  317         5. Cooperatives.
  318         6. Retirement homes.
  319         (b) Commercial and industrial.
  320         (c) Agricultural.
  321         (d) Nonagricultural acreage.
  322         (e) High-water recharge.
  323         (f) Historic property used for commercial or certain
  324  nonprofit purposes.
  325         (g) Exempt, wholly or partially.
  326         (h) Centrally assessed.
  327         (i) Leasehold interests.
  328         (j) Time-share property.
  329         (k) Land assessed under s. 193.501.
  330         (l) Working waterfront property.
  331         (m)(l) Other.
  332         Section 3. If any provision of this act or the application
  333  thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the
  334  invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of
  335  the act which can be given effect without the invalid provision
  336  or application, and to this end the provisions of this act are
  337  severable.
  338         Section 4. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law,
  339  and applies retroactively to January 1, 2010.

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