Florida Senate - 2010                                    SB 1856
       
       
       
       By the Committee on Commerce
       
       
       
       
       577-02038-10                                          20101856__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to qualified target industry tax
    3         refund program; amending s. 288.106, F.S.; providing
    4         legislative findings and declarations for the tax
    5         refund program for qualified target industry
    6         businesses; revising the definitions of terms
    7         applicable to the program; revising the criteria for
    8         the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development
    9         and Enterprise Florida, Inc., to use in identifying
   10         target industry businesses; conforming cross
   11         references to changes made by the act; deleting ad
   12         valorem taxes from the types of taxes that may be
   13         refunded under the program; requiring an application
   14         for certification as a qualified target industry
   15         business to include an estimate of the proportion of
   16         the machinery, equipment, and other resources that
   17         will be used in the applicant’s proposed operation in
   18         Florida and purchased by the applicant outside the
   19         state; requiring the Office of Tourism, Trade, and
   20         Economic Development to consider the state’s return on
   21         investment in evaluating applicants for the tax refund
   22         program; redesignating the economic-stimulus exemption
   23         as the “economic recovery extension”; extending the
   24         date by which a qualified target industry business may
   25         request an economic recovery extension; authorizing
   26         the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development
   27         to waive the requirement for a business to annually
   28         provide proof of taxes paid if the business provides
   29         proof that it has paid certain taxes in amounts at
   30         least equal to the total amount of refunds for which
   31         the business is eligible; requiring the Office of
   32         Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development to conduct a
   33         review of certain qualified target industry businesses
   34         that have received their final tax refund and provide
   35         a report of its findings and recommendations to the
   36         Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker
   37         of the House of Representatives; extending the date by
   38         which businesses may apply to participate in the tax
   39         refund program for qualified target industry
   40         businesses; amending ss. 288.107 and 290.00677, F.S.;
   41         conforming cross-references to changes made by the
   42         act; providing an effective date.
   43  
   44  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   45  
   46         Section 1. Section 288.106, Florida Statutes, is amended,
   47  and subsection (2) of that section is reordered, to read:
   48         288.106 Tax refund program for qualified target industry
   49  businesses.—
   50         (1) LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND DECLARATIONS.—The Legislature
   51  finds that retaining and expanding existing businesses in
   52  Florida, encouraging the creation of new businesses in Florida,
   53  attracting new businesses from out of state, and generally
   54  providing conditions favorable for the growth of target
   55  industries creates high-quality, high-wage employment
   56  opportunities for the residents of this state and strengthens
   57  Florida’s economic foundation. The Legislature also finds that
   58  incentives that are narrowly focused in application and scope
   59  tend to be more effective at achieving the state’s economic
   60  development goals. Further, the Legislature finds that higher
   61  wage jobs reduce the state’s share of hidden costs such as
   62  public assistance and subsidized health care associated with
   63  low-wage jobs. Therefore, the Legislature declares that it is
   64  the policy of this state to encourage the growth of higher-wage
   65  jobs and a diverse economic base by providing state tax refunds
   66  to qualified target industry businesses that originate or expand
   67  in this state or that relocate to this state.
   68         (2)(1) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section:
   69         (a) “Account” means the Economic Development Incentives
   70  Account within the Economic Development Trust Fund established
   71  under s. 288.095.
   72         (c)(b) “Average private sector wage in the area” means the
   73  statewide private sector average wage or the average of all
   74  private sector wages and salaries in the county or in the
   75  standard metropolitan area in which the business is located.
   76         (d)(c) “Business” means an employing unit, as defined in s.
   77  443.036, which is registered for unemployment compensation
   78  purposes with the state agency providing unemployment tax
   79  collection services under contract with the Agency for Workforce
   80  Innovation through an interagency agreement pursuant to s.
   81  443.1316, or a subcategory or division of an employing unit
   82  which is accepted by the state agency providing unemployment tax
   83  collection services as a reporting unit.
   84         (e)(d) “Corporate headquarters business” means an
   85  international, national, or regional headquarters office of a
   86  multinational or multistate business enterprise or national
   87  trade association, whether separate from or connected with other
   88  facilities used by such business.
   89         (n)(e) “Office” means the Office of Tourism, Trade, and
   90  Economic Development.
   91         (g)(f) “Enterprise zone” means an area designated as an
   92  enterprise zone pursuant to s. 290.0065.
   93         (h)(g) “Expansion of an existing business” means the
   94  expansion of an existing Florida business by or through
   95  additions to real and personal property, resulting in a net
   96  increase in employment of not less than 10 percent at such
   97  business.
   98         (i)(h) “Fiscal year” means the fiscal year of the state.
   99         (j)(i) “Jobs” means full-time equivalent positions, as that
  100  term is consistent with terms used by the Agency for Workforce
  101  Innovation and the United States Department of Labor for
  102  purposes of unemployment compensation tax administration and
  103  employment estimation, resulting directly from a project in this
  104  state. The term does not include temporary construction jobs
  105  involved with the construction of facilities for the project or
  106  any jobs previously included in any application for tax refunds
  107  under s. 288.1045 or this section.
  108         (k)(j) “Local financial support” means funding from local
  109  sources, public or private, which is paid to the Economic
  110  Development Trust Fund and which is equal to 20 percent of the
  111  annual tax refund for a qualified target industry business. A
  112  qualified target industry business may not provide, directly or
  113  indirectly, more than 5 percent of such funding in any fiscal
  114  year. The sources of such funding may not include, directly or
  115  indirectly, state funds appropriated from the General Revenue
  116  Fund or any state trust fund, excluding tax revenues shared with
  117  local governments pursuant to law.
  118         (l)(k) “Local financial support exemption option” means the
  119  option to exercise an exemption from the local financial support
  120  requirement available to any applicant whose project is located
  121  in a brownfield area or a rural community county with a
  122  population of 75,000 or fewer or a county with a population of
  123  125,000 or fewer which is contiguous to a county with a
  124  population of 75,000 or fewer. Any applicant that exercises this
  125  option is shall not be eligible for more than 80 percent of the
  126  total tax refunds allowed such applicant under this section.
  127         (m)(l) “New business” means a business that applies for the
  128  qualified target industry refund program before beginning
  129  operations which heretofore did not exist in this state, first
  130  beginning operations on a site located in this state and is a
  131  clearly separate legal entity from any other commercial or
  132  industrial operations owned by the same business.
  133         (o)(m) “Project” means the creation of a new business or
  134  expansion of an existing business.
  135         (f)(n) “Director” means the Director of the Office of
  136  Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development.
  137         (t)(o) “Target industry business” means a corporate
  138  headquarters business or any business that is engaged in one of
  139  the target industries identified pursuant to the following
  140  criteria developed by the office in consultation with Enterprise
  141  Florida, Inc.:
  142         1. Future growth.—Industry forecasts should indicate strong
  143  expectation for future growth in both employment and output,
  144  according to the most recent available data. Preference Special
  145  consideration should be given to businesses that export goods or
  146  services Florida’s growing access to international markets or to
  147  businesses that replace domestic and international replacing
  148  imports of goods or services.
  149         2. Stability.—The industry should not be subject to
  150  periodic layoffs, whether due to seasonality or sensitivity to
  151  volatile economic variables such as weather. The industry should
  152  also be relatively resistant to recession, so that the demand
  153  for products of this industry is not typically necessarily
  154  subject to decline during an economic downturn.
  155         3. High wage.—The industry should pay higher relatively
  156  high wages compared to statewide or area averages.
  157         4. Market and resource independent.—The location of
  158  industry businesses should not be dependent on Florida markets
  159  or resources as indicated by industry analysis, with the
  160  exception of businesses in the renewable-energy industry.
  161  Special consideration should be given to the development of
  162  strong industrial clusters which include defense and homeland
  163  security businesses.
  164         5. Industrial base diversification and strengthening.—The
  165  industry should contribute toward expanding or diversifying the
  166  state’s or area’s economic base, as indicated by analysis of
  167  employment and output shares compared to national and regional
  168  trends. Preference Special consideration should be given to
  169  industries that strengthen regional economies by adding value to
  170  basic products or building regional industrial clusters as
  171  indicated by industry analysis. Additionally, preference should
  172  be given to the development of strong industrial clusters that
  173  include defense and homeland security businesses.
  174         6. Economic benefits.—The industry is expected to should
  175  have strong positive impacts on or benefits to the state or and
  176  regional economies.
  177  
  178  The office, in consultation with Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall
  179  develop a list of such target industries annually and submit
  180  such list as part of the final agency legislative budget request
  181  submitted pursuant to s. 216.023(1). A target industry business
  182  may not include any industry engaged in retail activities; any
  183  electrical utility company; any phosphate or other solid
  184  minerals severance, mining, or processing operation; any oil or
  185  gas exploration or production operation; or any business firm
  186  subject to regulation by the Division of Hotels and Restaurants
  187  of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
  188         (u)(p) “Taxable year” means taxable year as defined in s.
  189  220.03(1)(y).
  190         (p)(q) “Qualified target industry business” means a target
  191  industry business that has been approved by the director to be
  192  eligible for tax refunds pursuant to this section.
  193         (q) “Return on investment” means the gain in state revenues
  194  as a percentage of the state’s investment. The state’s
  195  investment includes state grants, tax exemptions, tax refunds,
  196  tax credits, and other state incentives. Return on investment is
  197  expressed mathematically as follows:
  198  
  199      Return on investment = (gain in state revenues - state’s     
  200                   investment)/state’s investment                  
  201  
  202         (r)“Rural county” means a county with a population of
  203  75,000 or fewer or a county with a population of 100,000 or
  204  fewer which is contiguous to a county with a population of
  205  75,000 or fewer.
  206         (r)(s) “Rural city” means a city having with a population
  207  of 10,000 or fewer less, or a city having with a population of
  208  greater than 10,000 but fewer less than 20,000 which has been
  209  determined by the office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic
  210  Development to have economic characteristics such as, but not
  211  limited to, a significant percentage of residents on public
  212  assistance, a significant percentage of residents with income
  213  below the poverty level, or a significant percentage of the
  214  city’s employment base in agriculture-related industries.
  215         (s)(t) “Rural community” means:
  216         1. A county having with a population of 75,000 or fewer.
  217         2. A county having with a population of 125,000 or fewer
  218  which is contiguous to a county having with a population of
  219  75,000 or fewer.
  220         3. A municipality within a county described in subparagraph
  221  1. or subparagraph 2.
  222  
  223  For purposes of this paragraph, population shall be determined
  224  in accordance with the most recent official estimate pursuant to
  225  s. 186.901.
  226         (b)(u) “Authorized local economic development agency” means
  227  a any public or private entity, including those defined in s.
  228  288.075, authorized by a county or municipality to promote the
  229  general business or industrial interests of that county or
  230  municipality.
  231         (3)(2) TAX REFUND; ELIGIBLE AMOUNTS.—
  232         (a) There shall be allowed, from the account, a refund to a
  233  qualified target industry business for the amount of eligible
  234  taxes certified by the director which were paid by the such
  235  business. The total amount of refunds for all fiscal years for
  236  each qualified target industry business must be determined
  237  pursuant to subsection (4) (3). The annual amount of a refund to
  238  a qualified target industry business must be determined pursuant
  239  to subsection (6) (5).
  240         (b)1. Upon approval by the director, a qualified target
  241  industry business shall be allowed tax refund payments equal to
  242  $3,000 times the number of jobs specified in the tax refund
  243  agreement under subparagraph (5)(a)1. (4)(a)1., or equal to
  244  $6,000 times the number of jobs if the project is located in a
  245  rural county or an enterprise zone.
  246         2.Further, A qualified target industry business shall be
  247  allowed additional tax refund payments equal to $1,000 times the
  248  number of jobs specified in the tax refund agreement under
  249  subparagraph (5)(a)1. (4)(a)1., if such jobs pay an annual
  250  average wage of at least 150 percent of the average area private
  251  sector wage in the area, or equal to $2,000 times the number of
  252  jobs if such jobs pay an annual average area wage of at least
  253  200 percent of the average area private sector wage in the area.
  254         (c) A qualified target industry business may not receive
  255  refund payments of more than 25 percent of the total tax refunds
  256  specified in the tax refund agreement under subparagraph
  257  (5)(a)1. (4)(a)1. in any fiscal year. Further, a qualified
  258  target industry business may not receive more than $1.5 million
  259  in refunds under this section in any single fiscal year, or more
  260  than $2.5 million in any single fiscal year if the project is
  261  located in an enterprise zone. A qualified target industry
  262  business may not receive more than $5 million in refund payments
  263  under this section in all fiscal years, or more than $7.5
  264  million if the project is located in an enterprise zone.Funds
  265  made available pursuant to this section may not be expended in
  266  connection with the relocation of a business from one community
  267  to another community in this state unless the Office of Tourism,
  268  Trade, and Economic Development determines that without such
  269  relocation the business will move outside this state or
  270  determines that the business has a compelling economic rationale
  271  for the relocation and that the relocation will create
  272  additional jobs.
  273         (d)(c) After entering into a tax refund agreement under
  274  subsection (5) (4), a qualified target industry business may:
  275         1. Receive refunds from the account for the following taxes
  276  due and paid by that business beginning with the first taxable
  277  year of the business which begins after entering into the
  278  agreement:
  279         a. Corporate income taxes under chapter 220.
  280         b. Insurance premium tax under s. 624.509.
  281         2. Receive refunds from the account for the following taxes
  282  due and paid by that business after entering into the agreement:
  283         a. Taxes on sales, use, and other transactions under
  284  chapter 212.
  285         b. Intangible personal property taxes under chapter 199.
  286         c. Emergency excise taxes under chapter 221.
  287         d. Excise taxes on documents under chapter 201.
  288         e.Ad valorem taxes paid, as defined in s. 220.03(1).
  289         e.f. State communications services taxes administered under
  290  chapter 202. This provision does not apply to the gross receipts
  291  tax imposed under chapter 203 and administered under chapter 202
  292  or the local communications services tax authorized under s.
  293  202.19.
  294  
  295  The addition of state communications services taxes administered
  296  under chapter 202 is remedial in nature and retroactive to
  297  October 1, 2001. The office may make supplemental tax refund
  298  payments to allow for tax refunds for communications services
  299  taxes paid by an eligible qualified target industry business
  300  after October 1, 2001.
  301         (e)(d) However, a qualified target industry business may
  302  not receive a refund under this section for any amount of
  303  credit, refund, or exemption granted to that business for any of
  304  the such taxes listed in paragraph (d). If a refund for such
  305  taxes is provided by the office, which taxes are subsequently
  306  adjusted by the application of any credit, refund, or exemption
  307  granted to the qualified target industry business other than as
  308  provided in this section, the business shall reimburse the
  309  account for the amount of that credit, refund, or exemption. A
  310  qualified target industry business shall notify and tender
  311  payment to the office within 20 days after receiving any credit,
  312  refund, or exemption other than one provided in this section.
  313         (f) Refunds made available pursuant to this section may not
  314  be expended in connection with the relocation of a business from
  315  one community to another community in this state unless the
  316  office determines that without such relocation the business will
  317  move outside this state, or determines that the business has a
  318  compelling economic rationale for the relocation and that the
  319  relocation will create additional jobs.
  320         (g)(e) A qualified target industry business that
  321  fraudulently claims a refund under this section:
  322         1. Is liable for repayment of the amount of the refund to
  323  the account, plus a mandatory penalty in the amount of 200
  324  percent of the tax refund which shall be deposited into the
  325  General Revenue Fund.
  326         2. Commits Is guilty of a felony of the third degree,
  327  punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
  328         (4)(3) APPLICATION AND APPROVAL PROCESS.—
  329         (a) To apply for certification as a qualified target
  330  industry business under this section, the business must file an
  331  application with the office before the business decides has made
  332  the decision to locate a new business in this state or before
  333  the business decides had made the decision to expand its an
  334  existing operations business in this state. The application must
  335  shall include, but need is not be limited to, the following
  336  information:
  337         1. The applicant’s federal employer identification number
  338  and, if applicable, the applicant’s state sales tax registration
  339  number.
  340         2. The proposed permanent location of the applicant’s
  341  facility in this state at which the project is or is to be
  342  located.
  343         3. A description of the type of business activity or
  344  product covered by the project, including a minimum of a five
  345  digit NAICS code for all activities included in the project. As
  346  used in this paragraph, “NAICS” means those classifications
  347  contained in the North American Industry Classification System,
  348  as published in 2007 by the Office of Management and Budget,
  349  Executive Office of the President, and updated periodically.
  350         4. The proposed number of net new full-time equivalent
  351  Florida jobs at the qualified target industry business as of
  352  December 31 of each year included in the project and the average
  353  wage of those jobs. If more than one type of business activity
  354  or product is included in the project, the number of jobs and
  355  average wage for those jobs must be separately stated for each
  356  type of business activity or product.
  357         5. The total number of full-time equivalent employees
  358  employed by the applicant in this state, if applicable.
  359         6. The anticipated commencement date of the project.
  360         7. A brief statement explaining concerning the role that
  361  the estimated tax refunds to be requested will play in the
  362  decision of the applicant to locate or expand in this state.
  363         8. An estimate of the proportion of the sales resulting
  364  from the project that will be made outside this state.
  365         9. An estimate of the proportion of the cost of the
  366  machinery and equipment, and any other resources necessary in
  367  the development of its product or service, which is to be used
  368  by the business in its Florida operations and which will be
  369  purchased outside this state.
  370         10.9. A resolution adopted by the governing board of the
  371  county or municipality in which the project will be located,
  372  which resolution recommends that the project certain types of
  373  businesses be approved as a qualified target industry business
  374  and specifies states that the commitments of local financial
  375  support necessary for the target industry business exist. In
  376  advance of the passage of such resolution, the office may also
  377  accept an official letter from an authorized local economic
  378  development agency that endorses the proposed target industry
  379  project and pledges that sources of local financial support for
  380  such project exist. For the purposes of making pledges of local
  381  financial support under this subsection, the authorized local
  382  economic development agency shall be officially designated by
  383  the passage of a one-time resolution by the local governing
  384  authority.
  385         11.10. Any additional information requested by the office.
  386         (b) To qualify for review by the office, the application of
  387  a target industry business must, at a minimum, establish the
  388  following to the satisfaction of the office:
  389         1.a. The jobs proposed to be created provided under the
  390  application, pursuant to subparagraph (a)4., must pay an
  391  estimated annual average wage equaling at least 115 percent of
  392  the average area private sector wage in the area where the
  393  business is to be located or the statewide private sector
  394  average wage. In determining the average annual wage, the office
  395  shall include only new proposed jobs, and wages for existing
  396  jobs shall be excluded from this calculation.
  397         b. The office may waive the average wage requirement at the
  398  request of the local governing body recommending the project and
  399  Enterprise Florida, Inc. The director may waive the wage
  400  requirement may only be waived for a project located in a
  401  brownfield area designated under s. 376.80 or in a rural city,
  402  rural community, or county, or in an enterprise zone and only if
  403  when the merits of the individual project or the specific
  404  circumstances in the community in relationship to the project
  405  warrant such action. If the local governing body and Enterprise
  406  Florida, Inc., make such a recommendation, it must be
  407  transmitted in writing and the specific justification for the
  408  waiver recommendation must be explained. If the director elects
  409  to waive the wage requirement, the waiver must be stated in
  410  writing and the reasons for granting the waiver must be
  411  explained.
  412         2. The target industry business’s project must result in
  413  the creation of at least 10 jobs at the such project and, if an
  414  expansion of an existing business, must result in an a net
  415  increase in employment of at least 10 percent at the business.
  416  Notwithstanding the definition of the term “expansion of an
  417  existing business” in paragraph (1)(g), At the request of the
  418  local governing body recommending the project and Enterprise
  419  Florida, Inc., the office may waive this requirement for a
  420  business in a rural community or enterprise zone define an
  421  “expansion of an existing business” in a rural community or an
  422  enterprise zone as the expansion of a business resulting in a
  423  net increase in employment of less than 10 percent at such
  424  business if the merits of the individual project or the specific
  425  circumstances in the community in relationship to the project
  426  warrant such action. If the local governing body and Enterprise
  427  Florida, Inc., make such a request, the request must be
  428  transmitted in writing and the specific justification for the
  429  request must be explained. If the director elects to grant the
  430  request, the grant must be stated in writing and the reason for
  431  granting the request must be explained.
  432         3. The business activity or product for the applicant’s
  433  project is within an industry or industries that have been
  434  identified by the office as a target industry business to be
  435  high-value-added industries that contributes contribute to the
  436  area and to the economic growth of the state and the region in
  437  which it is located, that produces produce a higher standard of
  438  living for residents of this state in the new global economy, or
  439  that can be shown to make an equivalent contribution to the area
  440  and state’s economic progress. The director must approve
  441  requests to waive the wage requirement for brownfield areas
  442  designated under s. 376.80 unless it is demonstrated that such
  443  action is not in the public interest.
  444         (c) Each application meeting the requirements of paragraph
  445  (b) must be submitted to the office for determination of
  446  eligibility. The office shall review and evaluate each
  447  application based on, but not limited to, the following
  448  criteria:
  449         1. Expected contributions to the state economy, consistent
  450  with the state strategic economic development plan adopted by
  451  Enterprise Florida, Inc., taking into account the long-term
  452  effects of the project and of the applicant on the state
  453  economy.
  454         2. The return on investment of the proposed award under the
  455  qualified target industry incentive program and the return on
  456  investment for all state incentives proposed for the project
  457  economic benefit of the jobs created by the project in this
  458  state, taking into account the cost and average wage of each job
  459  created.
  460         3. The amount of capital investment to be made by the
  461  applicant in this state.
  462         4. The local financial commitment and support for the
  463  project.
  464         5. The effect of the project on the unemployment rate in
  465  local community, taking into account the unemployment rate for
  466  the county where the project will be located.
  467         6. The effect of the award any tax refunds granted pursuant
  468  to this section on the viability of the project and the
  469  probability that the project would will be undertaken in this
  470  state if such tax refunds are granted to the applicant, taking
  471  into account the expected long-term commitment of the applicant
  472  to economic growth and employment in this state.
  473         7. The expected long-term commitment of the applicant to
  474  economic growth and employment to this state resulting from the
  475  project.
  476         8. A review of the business’s past activities in this state
  477  or other states, including whether such business has been
  478  subjected to criminal or civil fines and penalties. This
  479  subparagraph does not require the disclosure of confidential
  480  information.
  481         (d) Applications shall be reviewed and certified pursuant
  482  to s. 288.061. The office shall include in its review
  483  projections of the tax refunds the business would be eligible to
  484  receive in each fiscal year based on the creation and
  485  maintenance of the net new Florida jobs specified in
  486  subparagraph (a)4. as of December 31 of the preceding state
  487  fiscal year. If appropriate, the director shall enter into a
  488  written agreement with the qualified target industry business
  489  pursuant to subsection (5) (4).
  490         (e) The director may not certify any target industry
  491  business as a qualified target industry business if the value of
  492  tax refunds to be included in that letter of certification
  493  exceeds the available amount of authority to certify new
  494  businesses as determined in s. 288.095(3). However, if the
  495  commitments of local financial support represent less than 20
  496  percent of the eligible tax refund payments, or to otherwise
  497  preserve the viability and fiscal integrity of the program, the
  498  director may certify a qualified target industry business to
  499  receive tax refund payments of less than the allowable amounts
  500  specified in paragraph (3)(b) (2)(b). A letter of certification
  501  that approves an application must specify the maximum amount of
  502  tax refund that will be available to the qualified industry
  503  business in each fiscal year and the total amount of tax refunds
  504  that will be available to the business for all fiscal years.
  505         (f) This section does not create a presumption that an
  506  applicant shall receive any tax refunds under this section.
  507  However, the office may issue nonbinding opinion letters, upon
  508  the request of prospective applicants, as to the applicants’
  509  eligibility and the potential amount of refunds.
  510         (5)(4) TAX REFUND AGREEMENT.—
  511         (a) Each qualified target industry business must enter into
  512  a written agreement with the office which specifies, at a
  513  minimum:
  514         1. The total number of full-time equivalent jobs in this
  515  state that will be dedicated to the project, the average wage of
  516  those jobs, the definitions that will apply for measuring the
  517  achievement of these terms during the pendency of the agreement,
  518  and a time schedule or plan for when such jobs will be in place
  519  and active in this state.
  520         2. The maximum amount of tax refunds which the qualified
  521  target industry business is eligible to receive on the project
  522  and the maximum amount of a tax refund that the qualified target
  523  industry business is eligible to receive for each fiscal year,
  524  based on the job creation and maintenance schedule specified in
  525  subparagraph 1.
  526         3. That the office may review and verify the financial and
  527  personnel records of the qualified target industry business to
  528  ascertain whether that business is in compliance with this
  529  section.
  530         4. The date by which, in each fiscal year, the qualified
  531  target industry business may file a claim under subsection (6)
  532  (5) to be considered to receive a tax refund in the following
  533  fiscal year.
  534         5. That local financial support will be annually available
  535  and will be paid to the account. The director may not enter into
  536  a written agreement with a qualified target industry business if
  537  the local financial support resolution is not passed by the
  538  local governing authority within 90 days after he or she has
  539  issued the letter of certification under subsection (4) (3).
  540         (b) Compliance with the terms and conditions of the
  541  agreement is a condition precedent for the receipt of a tax
  542  refund each year. The failure to comply with the terms and
  543  conditions of the tax refund agreement results in the loss of
  544  eligibility for receipt of all tax refunds previously authorized
  545  under this section and the revocation by the director of the
  546  certification of the business entity as a qualified target
  547  industry business, unless the business is eligible to receive
  548  and elects to accept a prorated refund under paragraph (6)(e)
  549  (5)(d) or the office grants the business an economic recovery
  550  extension economic-stimulus exemption.
  551         1. A qualified target industry business may submit, in
  552  writing, a request to the office for an economic recovery
  553  extension economic-stimulus exemption. The request must provide
  554  quantitative evidence demonstrating how negative economic
  555  conditions in the business’s industry, the effects of the impact
  556  of a named hurricane or tropical storm, or specific acts of
  557  terrorism affecting the qualified target industry business have
  558  prevented the business from complying with the terms and
  559  conditions of its tax refund agreement.
  560         2. Upon receipt of a request under subparagraph 1., the
  561  director has shall have 45 days to notify the requesting
  562  business, in writing, if its extension exemption has been
  563  granted or denied. In determining if an extension exemption
  564  should be granted, the director shall consider the extent to
  565  which negative economic conditions in the requesting business’s
  566  industry have occurred in the state or the effects of the impact
  567  of a named hurricane or tropical storm or specific acts of
  568  terrorism affecting the qualified target industry business have
  569  prevented the business from complying with the terms and
  570  conditions of its tax refund agreement. The office shall
  571  consider current employment statistics for this state by
  572  industry, including whether the business’s industry had
  573  substantial job loss during the prior year, when determining
  574  whether an extension exemption shall be granted.
  575         3. As a condition for receiving a prorated refund under
  576  paragraph (6)(e) (5)(d) or an economic recovery extension
  577  economic-stimulus exemption under this paragraph, a qualified
  578  target industry business must agree to renegotiate its tax
  579  refund agreement with the office to, at a minimum, ensure that
  580  the terms of the agreement comply with current law and office
  581  procedures governing application for and award of tax refunds.
  582  Upon approving the award of a prorated refund or granting an
  583  economic recovery extension economic-stimulus exemption, the
  584  office shall renegotiate the tax refund agreement with the
  585  business as required by this subparagraph. When amending the
  586  agreement of a business receiving an economic recovery extension
  587  economic-stimulus exemption, the office may extend the duration
  588  of the agreement for a period not to exceed 2 years.
  589         4. A qualified target industry business may submit a
  590  request for an economic recovery extension economic-stimulus
  591  exemption to the office in lieu of any tax refund claim
  592  scheduled to be submitted after January 1, 2009, but before July
  593  1, 2012 2011.
  594         5. A qualified target industry business that receives an
  595  economic recovery extension economic-stimulus exemption may not
  596  receive a tax refund for the period covered by the exemption.
  597         (c) The agreement must be signed by the director and by an
  598  authorized officer of the qualified target industry business
  599  within 120 days after the issuance of the letter of
  600  certification under subsection (4) (3), but not before passage
  601  and receipt of the resolution of local financial support. The
  602  office may grant an extension of this period at the written
  603  request of the qualified target industry business.
  604         (d) The agreement must contain the following legend,
  605  clearly printed on its face in bold type of not less than 10
  606  points in size: “This agreement is neither a general obligation
  607  of the State of Florida, nor is it backed by the full faith and
  608  credit of the State of Florida. Payment of tax refunds is are
  609  conditioned on and subject to specific annual appropriations by
  610  the Florida Legislature of moneys sufficient to pay amounts
  611  authorized in section 288.106, Florida Statutes.”
  612         (6)(5) ANNUAL CLAIM FOR REFUND.—
  613         (a) To be eligible to claim any scheduled tax refund, a
  614  qualified target industry business that has entered into a tax
  615  refund agreement with the office under subsection (5) (4) must
  616  apply by January 31 of each fiscal year to the office for the
  617  tax refund scheduled to be paid from the appropriation for the
  618  fiscal year that begins on July 1 following the January 31
  619  claims-submission date. The office may, upon written request,
  620  grant a 30-day extension of the filing date.
  621         (b) The claim for refund by the qualified target industry
  622  business must include a copy of all receipts pertaining to the
  623  payment of taxes for which the refund is sought and data related
  624  to achievement of each performance item specified in the tax
  625  refund agreement. The amount requested as a tax refund may not
  626  exceed the amount specified for the relevant fiscal year in that
  627  agreement.
  628         (c) If the qualified target industry business provides the
  629  office with proof that in a single year it has paid an amount of
  630  state taxes, from the categories in paragraph (3)(d), which is
  631  at least equal to the total amount of tax refunds it may receive
  632  through successful completion of its qualified target industry
  633  agreement, the office may waive the requirement for proof of
  634  taxes paid in future years.
  635         (d)(c) A tax refund may not be approved for a qualified
  636  target industry business unless the required local financial
  637  support has been paid into the account for that refund. If the
  638  local financial support provided is less than 20 percent of the
  639  approved tax refund, the tax refund must be reduced. In no event
  640  may the tax refund exceed an amount that is equal to 5 times the
  641  amount of the local financial support received. Further, funding
  642  from local sources includes any tax abatement granted to that
  643  business under s. 196.1995 or the appraised market value of
  644  municipal or county land conveyed or provided at a discount to
  645  that business. The amount of any tax refund for such business
  646  approved under this section must be reduced by the amount of any
  647  such tax abatement granted or the value of the land granted; and
  648  the limitations in subsection (3) (2) and paragraph (4)(e)
  649  (3)(e) must be reduced by the amount of any such tax abatement
  650  or the value of the land granted. A report listing all sources
  651  of the local financial support shall be provided to the office
  652  when such support is paid to the account.
  653         (e)(d) A prorated tax refund, less a 5 percent 5-percent
  654  penalty, shall be approved for a qualified target industry
  655  business if provided all other applicable requirements have been
  656  satisfied and the business proves to the satisfaction of the
  657  director that:
  658         1. It has achieved at least 80 percent of its projected
  659  employment; and that
  660         2. The average wage paid by the business is at least 90
  661  percent of the average wage specified in the tax refund
  662  agreement, but in no case less than 115 percent of the average
  663  private sector wage in the area available at the time of
  664  certification, or 150 percent or 200 percent of the average
  665  private sector wage if the business requested the additional
  666  per-job tax refund authorized in paragraph (3)(b) (2)(b) for
  667  wages above those levels.
  668  
  669  The prorated tax refund shall be calculated by multiplying the
  670  tax refund amount for which the qualified target industry
  671  business would have been eligible, if all applicable
  672  requirements had been satisfied, by the percentage of the
  673  average employment specified in the tax refund agreement which
  674  was achieved, and by the percentage of the average wages
  675  specified in the tax refund agreement which was achieved.
  676         (f)(e) The director, with such assistance as may be
  677  required from the office, the Department of Revenue, or the
  678  Agency for Workforce Innovation, shall, by June 30 following the
  679  scheduled date for submission of the tax refund claim, specify
  680  by written order the approval or disapproval of the tax refund
  681  claim and, if approved, the amount of the tax refund that is
  682  authorized to be paid to the qualified target industry business
  683  for the annual tax refund. The office may grant an extension of
  684  this date on the request of the qualified target industry
  685  business for the purpose of filing additional information in
  686  support of the claim.
  687         (g)(f) The total amount of tax refund claims approved by
  688  the director under this section in any fiscal year must not
  689  exceed the amount authorized under s. 288.095(3).
  690         (h)(g) This section does not create a presumption that a
  691  tax refund claim will be approved and paid.
  692         (i)(h) Upon approval of the tax refund under paragraphs
  693  (c), (d), and (e), and (f), the Chief Financial Officer shall
  694  issue a warrant for the amount specified in the written order.
  695  If the written order is appealed, the Chief Financial Officer
  696  may not issue a warrant for a refund to the qualified target
  697  industry business until the conclusion of all appeals of that
  698  order.
  699         (7)(6) ADMINISTRATION.—
  700         (a) The office may is authorized to verify information
  701  provided in any claim submitted for tax credits under this
  702  section with regard to employment and wage levels or the payment
  703  of the taxes to the appropriate agency or authority, including
  704  the Department of Revenue, the Agency for Workforce Innovation,
  705  or any local government or authority.
  706         (b) To facilitate the process of monitoring and auditing
  707  applications made under this program, the office may provide a
  708  list of qualified target industry businesses to the Department
  709  of Revenue, to the Agency for Workforce Innovation, or to any
  710  local government or authority. The office may request the
  711  assistance of those entities with respect to monitoring jobs,
  712  wages, and the payment of the taxes listed in subsection (3)
  713  (2).
  714         (c) Funds specifically appropriated for the tax refund
  715  program for qualified target industry businesses may not be used
  716  by the office for any purpose other than the payment of tax
  717  refunds authorized by this section.
  718         (d) For all agreements signed after January 1, 2006, the
  719  office shall conduct a review of each qualified target industry
  720  business within 12 months after such business has submitted its
  721  final incentive refund request in order to evaluate whether the
  722  business is continuing to contribute to the regional or state
  723  economy. To complete the review, the office shall examine the
  724  size of each business’s workforce, the annual average wage of
  725  its employees, whether the business has made additional
  726  investments in its operations since the completion of its
  727  agreement, and whether the business has expanded into additional
  728  locations. The office shall submit a report of its findings and
  729  recommendations from its review to the Governor, the President
  730  of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
  731  The first report shall be submitted by December 1, 2011, and
  732  each December 1 thereafter.
  733         (7)Notwithstanding paragraphs (4)(a) and (5)(c), the
  734  office may approve a waiver of the local financial support
  735  requirement for a business located in any of the following
  736  counties in which businesses received emergency loans
  737  administered by the office in response to the named hurricanes
  738  of 2004: Bay, Brevard, Charlotte, DeSoto, Escambia, Flagler,
  739  Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Indian River, Lake, Lee,
  740  Martin, Okaloosa, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Polk,
  741  Putnam, Santa Rosa, Seminole, St. Lucie, Volusia, and Walton. A
  742  waiver may be granted only if the office determines that the
  743  local financial support cannot be provided or that doing so
  744  would effect a demonstrable hardship on the unit of local
  745  government providing the local financial support. If the office
  746  grants a waiver of the local financial support requirement, the
  747  state shall pay 100 percent of the refund due to an eligible
  748  business. The waiver shall apply for tax refund applications
  749  made for fiscal years 2004-2005, 2005-2006, and 2006-2007.
  750         (8) EXPIRATION.—An applicant may not be certified as
  751  qualified under this section after June 30, 2015 2010. A tax
  752  refund agreement existing on that date shall continue in effect
  753  in accordance with its terms.
  754         Section 2. Paragraph (e) of subsection (1), subsection (2),
  755  paragraphs (a) and (d) of subsection (4), and paragraph (b) of
  756  subsection (5) of section 288.107, Florida Statutes, are amended
  757  to read:
  758         288.107 Brownfield redevelopment bonus refunds.—
  759         (1) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section:
  760         (e) “Eligible business” means:
  761         1. A qualified target industry business as defined in s.
  762  288.106(2) s. 288.106(1)(o); or
  763         2. A business that can demonstrate a fixed capital
  764  investment of at least $2 million in mixed-use business
  765  activities, including multiunit housing, commercial, retail, and
  766  industrial in brownfield areas, or at least $500,000 in
  767  brownfield areas that do not require site cleanup, and which
  768  provides benefits to its employees.
  769         (2) BROWNFIELD REDEVELOPMENT BONUS REFUND.—Bonus refunds
  770  shall be approved by the office as specified in the final order
  771  issued by the director and allowed from the account as follows:
  772         (a) A bonus refund of $2,500 shall be allowed to any
  773  qualified target industry business as defined by s. 288.106 for
  774  each new Florida job created in a brownfield area which is
  775  claimed on the qualified target industry business’s annual
  776  refund claim authorized in s. 288.106(6) s. 288.106(5).
  777         (b) A bonus refund of up to $2,500 shall be allowed to any
  778  other eligible business as defined in subparagraph (1)(e)2. for
  779  each new Florida job created in a brownfield which is claimed
  780  under an annual claim procedure similar to the annual refund
  781  claim authorized in s. 288.106(6) s. 288.106(5). The amount of
  782  the refund shall be equal to 20 percent of the average annual
  783  wage for the jobs created.
  784         (4) PAYMENT OF BROWNFIELD REDEVELOPMENT BONUS REFUNDS.—
  785         (a) To be eligible to receive a bonus refund for new
  786  Florida jobs created in a brownfield, a business must have been
  787  certified as a qualified target industry business under s.
  788  288.106 or eligible business as defined in paragraph (1)(e) and
  789  must have indicated on the qualified target industry tax refund
  790  application form submitted in accordance with s. 288.106(4) s.
  791  288.106(3) or other similar agreement for other eligible
  792  business as defined in paragraph (1)(e) that the project for
  793  which the application is submitted is or will be located in a
  794  brownfield and that the business is applying for certification
  795  as a qualified brownfield business under this section, and must
  796  have signed a qualified target industry tax refund agreement
  797  with the office which indicates that the business has been
  798  certified as a qualified target industry business located in a
  799  brownfield and specifies the schedule of brownfield
  800  redevelopment bonus refunds that the business may be eligible to
  801  receive in each fiscal year.
  802         (d) After entering into a tax refund agreement as provided
  803  in s. 288.106 or other similar agreement for other eligible
  804  businesses as defined in paragraph (1)(e), an eligible business
  805  may receive brownfield redevelopment bonus refunds from the
  806  account pursuant to s. 288.106(3)(d) s. 288.106(2)(c).
  807         (5) ADMINISTRATION.—
  808         (b) To facilitate the process of monitoring and auditing
  809  applications made under this program, the office may provide a
  810  list of qualified target industry businesses to the Department
  811  of Revenue, to the Agency for Workforce Innovation, to the
  812  Department of Environmental Protection, or to any local
  813  government authority. The office may request the assistance of
  814  those entities with respect to monitoring the payment of the
  815  taxes listed in s. 288.106(3) s. 288.106(2).
  816         Section 3. Section 290.00677, Florida Statutes, is amended
  817  to read:
  818         290.00677 Rural enterprise zones; special qualifications.—
  819         (1) Notwithstanding the enterprise zone residency
  820  requirements set out in s. 212.096(1)(c), eligible businesses as
  821  defined by s. 212.096(1)(a), located in rural enterprise zones
  822  as defined by s. 290.004, may receive the basic minimum credit
  823  provided under s. 212.096 for creating a new job and hiring a
  824  person residing within the jurisdiction of a rural community
  825  county, as defined by s. 288.106(2) s. 288.106(1)(r). All other
  826  provisions of s. 212.096, including, but not limited to, those
  827  relating to the award of enhanced credits, apply to such
  828  businesses.
  829         (2) Notwithstanding the enterprise zone residency
  830  requirements set out in s. 220.03(1)(q), businesses as defined
  831  by s. 220.03(1)(c), located in rural enterprise zones as defined
  832  in s. 290.004, may receive the basic minimum credit provided
  833  under s. 220.181 for creating a new job and hiring a person
  834  residing within the jurisdiction of a rural community county, as
  835  defined by s. 288.106(2) s. 288.106(1)(r). All other provisions
  836  of s. 220.181, including, but not limited to, those relating to
  837  the award of enhanced credits apply to such businesses.
  838         Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2010.


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