August 04, 2020
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       Florida Senate - 2010                                    SB 2040
       By Senator Detert
       23-01372B-10                                          20102040__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to the homestead exemption;
    3         authorizing any person to report to his or her local
    4         property appraiser a possible homestead exemption
    5         violation under certain circumstances; requiring that
    6         the property appraiser pay a specified maximum reward
    7         to the reporting individual after the recovery of any
    8         back taxes or penalties by the property appraiser;
    9         requiring that funds for such reward be taken from a
   10         specified source; providing that a reward may be paid
   11         to only one person for each verified violation;
   12         providing for the determination of the recipient of a
   13         reward if more than one resident reports a violation;
   14         requiring that the Department of Revenue create a form
   15         for reporting such violations and provide such form by
   16         specified means; requiring that each submitted form
   17         contain certain information; requiring that the
   18         property appraiser stamp each submitted form with the
   19         current date and time upon receipt; providing an
   20         effective date.
   22  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   24         Section 1. Whistleblower reward for reporting illegal or
   25  improper homestead exemptions.—
   26         (1) Any person may report to his or her local property
   27  appraiser’s office a possible homestead exemption violation if
   28  he or she believes a homestead exemption, as described in s.
   29  196.031, Florida Statutes, has been granted to a person who is
   30  not entitled to such exemption. If the property appraiser
   31  verifies that a homestead exemption was illegally or improperly
   32  obtained, the property appraiser, after collecting any back
   33  taxes and resulting penalties, shall pay the person who reported
   34  the violation a reward of up to $500. Such reward shall be paid
   35  from the penalties recovered by the property appraiser in
   36  connection with the reported violation.
   37         (2) A property appraiser may pay a reward to only one
   38  person for reporting each verified homestead exemption
   39  violation. If more than one person reports a violation
   40  pertaining to the same property, the person who reported the
   41  violation at the earliest date and time via the appropriate
   42  reporting method shall receive the reward.
   43         (3) The Department of Revenue shall create a form for
   44  reporting suspected homestead exemption violations. The form
   45  shall be available on the department’s website, and each
   46  property appraiser shall provide printed forms upon request.
   47  Each submitted form must include the name and address of the
   48  person reporting the suspected violation, the address of the
   49  property suspected of illegally or improperly receiving a
   50  homestead exemption, and the basis for suspecting that a
   51  homestead exemption violation has occurred. The property
   52  appraiser shall stamp each submitted form with the current date
   53  and time immediately upon receipt.
   54         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2010.

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