December 08, 2019
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Senate Bill 2322

Senate Bill sb2322e1

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    CS for SB 2322                                 First Engrossed



  1                      A bill to be entitled

  2         An act relating to communications services

  3         taxes; amending s. 202.16, F.S.; providing

  4         requirements for dealers making certain sales

  5         for resale; providing procedures and

  6         limitations; providing a definition; providing

  7         responsibilities of the Department of Revenue;

  8         amending s. 202.19, F.S.; clarifying the

  9         inclusion of certain fees and costs in the tax

10         rate; amending s. 202.20, F.S.; authorizing the

11         Department of Revenue or a dealer to make an

12         adjustment in the event of a reallocation of

13         revenue away from local government; repealing

14         s. 202.20(2)(a), F.S., relating to obsolete tax

15         rate provisions; amending s. 202.21, F.S., to

16         conform; specifying certain revisions to law as

17         remedial and clarifying; granting no right to a

18         refund of any fees or charges paid prior to a

19         certain date; providing an exception; amending

20         s. 365.171, F.S.; continuing the authorization

21         for certain counties to expend moneys derived

22         from the "911" fee for nonemergency

23         telecommunications; deleting the limitation

24         imposed under a pilot project; providing an

25         effective date.

26  

27  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:

28  

29         Section 1.  Effective December 31, 2004, subsection (2)

30  of section 202.16, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

31  


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    CS for SB 2322                                 First Engrossed



 1         202.16  Payment.--The taxes imposed or administered

 2  under this chapter and chapter 203 shall be collected from all

 3  dealers of taxable communications services on the sale at

 4  retail in this state of communications services taxable under

 5  this chapter and chapter 203. The full amount of the taxes on

 6  a credit sale, installment sale, or sale made on any kind of

 7  deferred payment plan is due at the moment of the transaction

 8  in the same manner as a cash sale.

 9         (2)(a)  A sale of communications services that are used

10  as a component part of or integrated into a communications

11  service or prepaid calling arrangement for resale, including,

12  but not limited to, carrier-access charges, interconnection

13  charges paid by providers of mobile communication services or

14  other communication services, charges paid by cable service

15  providers for the transmission of video or other programming

16  by another dealer of communications services, charges for the

17  sale of unbundled network elements, and any other intercompany

18  charges for the use of facilities for providing communications

19  services for resale, must be made in compliance with the rules

20  of the department. Any person who makes a sale for resale

21  which is not in compliance with these rules is liable for any

22  tax, penalty, and interest due for failing to comply, to be

23  calculated pursuant to s. 202.28(2)(a).

24         (b)  Any dealer who makes a sale for resale shall

25  document the exempt nature of the transaction, as established

26  by rules adopted by the department, by retaining a copy of the

27  purchaser's initial or annual resale certificate issued

28  pursuant to s. 202.17(6). In lieu of maintaining a copy of the

29  certificate, a dealer may document, prior to the time of sale,

30  an authorization number provided telephonically or

31  electronically by the department, or by such other means


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    CS for SB 2322                                 First Engrossed



 1  established by rule of the department. The dealer may rely on

 2  an initial or annual resale certificate issued pursuant to s.

 3  202.17(6), valid at the time of receipt from the purchaser,

 4  without seeking additional annual resale certificates from

 5  such purchaser, if the dealer makes recurring sales to such

 6  purchaser in the normal course of business on a continual

 7  basis. For purposes of this paragraph, the term "recurring

 8  sales to a purchaser in the normal course of business" means a

 9  sale in which the dealer extends credit to the purchaser and

10  records the debt as an account receivable, or in which the

11  dealer sells to a purchaser who has an established cash

12  account, similar to an open credit account. For purposes of

13  this paragraph, purchases are made from a selling dealer on a

14  continual basis if the selling dealer makes, in the normal

15  course of business, sales to the purchaser no less frequently

16  than once in every 12-month period. A dealer may, through the

17  informal protest provided for in s. 213.21 and the rules of

18  the Department of Revenue, provide the department with

19  evidence of the exempt status of a sale. Exemption

20  certificates executed by entities that were exempt at the time

21  of sale, resale certificates provided by purchasers who were

22  active dealers at the time of sale, and verification by the

23  department of a purchaser's active dealer status at the time

24  of sale in lieu of a resale certificate shall be accepted by

25  the department when submitted during the protest period, but

26  may not be accepted in any proceeding under chapter 120 or any

27  circuit court action instituted under chapter 72.

28         Section 2.  Paragraph (a) of subsection (3) of section

29  202.19, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

30         202.19  Authorization to impose local communications

31  services tax.--


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    CS for SB 2322                                 First Engrossed



 1         (3)(a)  The tax authorized under this section includes

 2  and is in lieu of any fee or other consideration, including,

 3  but not limited to, application fees, transfer fees, renewal

 4  fees, or claims for related costs, to which the municipality

 5  or county is otherwise entitled for granting permission to

 6  dealers of communications services, including, but not limited

 7  to, providers of cable television services, as authorized in

 8  47 U.S.C. s. 542, to use or occupy its roads or rights-of-way

 9  for the placement, construction, and maintenance of poles,

10  wires, and other fixtures used in the provision of

11  communications services.

12         Section 3.  Subsection (2) of section 202.20, Florida

13  Statutes, is amended to read:

14         202.20  Local communications services tax conversion

15  rates.--

16         (2)(a)1.  With respect to any local taxing

17  jurisdiction, if, for the periods ending December 31, 2001;

18  March 31, 2002; June 30, 2002; or September 30, 2002, the

19  revenues received by that local government from the local

20  communications services tax imposed under subsection (1) are

21  less than the revenues received from the replaced revenue

22  sources for the corresponding 2000-2001 period; plus

23  reasonably anticipated growth in such revenues over the

24  preceding 1-year period, based on the average growth of such

25  revenues over the immediately preceding 5-year period; plus an

26  amount representing the revenues from the replaced revenue

27  sources for the 1-month period that the local taxing

28  jurisdiction was required to forego, the governing authority

29  may adjust the rate of the local communications services tax

30  upward to the extent necessary to generate the entire

31  shortfall in revenues within 1 year after the rate adjustment


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    CS for SB 2322                                 First Engrossed



 1  and by an amount necessary to generate the expected amount of

 2  revenue on an ongoing basis.

 3         2.  If complete data are not available at the time of

 4  determining whether the revenues received by a local

 5  government from the local communications services tax imposed

 6  under subsection (1) are less than the revenues received from

 7  the replaced revenue sources for the corresponding 2000-2001

 8  period, as set forth in subparagraph 1., the local government

 9  shall use the best data available for the corresponding

10  2000-2001 period in making such determination.

11         3.  The adjustment permitted under subparagraph 1. may

12  be made by emergency ordinance or resolution and may be made

13  notwithstanding the maximum rate established under s.

14  202.19(2) and notwithstanding any schedules or timeframes or

15  any other limitations contained in this chapter. The authority

16  to make such adjustment may be exercised only in the event of

17  a reallocation of revenue away from the local government by

18  the Department of Revenue or a dealer. The emergency ordinance

19  or resolution shall specify an effective date for the adjusted

20  rate, which shall be no less than 60 days after the date of

21  adoption of the ordinance or resolution and shall be effective

22  with respect to taxable services included on bills that are

23  dated on the first day of a month subsequent to the expiration

24  of the 60-day period. At the end of 1 year following the

25  effective date of such adjusted rate, the local governing

26  authority shall, as soon as is consistent with s. 202.21,

27  reduce the rate by that portion of the emergency rate which

28  was necessary to recoup the amount of revenues not received

29  prior to the implementation of the emergency rate.

30         4.  If, for the period October 1, 2001, through

31  September 30, 2002, the revenues received by a local


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    CS for SB 2322                                 First Engrossed



 1  government from the local communications services tax

 2  conversion rate established under subsection (1), adjusted

 3  upward for the difference in rates between paragraphs (1)(a)

 4  and (b) or any other rate adjustments or base changes, are

 5  above the threshold of 10 percent more than the revenues

 6  received from the replaced revenue sources for the

 7  corresponding 2000-2001 period plus reasonably anticipated

 8  growth in such revenues over the preceding 1-year period,

 9  based on the average growth of such revenues over the

10  immediately preceding 5-year period, the governing authority

11  must adjust the rate of the local communications services tax

12  to the extent necessary to reduce revenues to the threshold by

13  emergency ordinance or resolution within the timeframes

14  established in subparagraph 3.  The foregoing rate adjustment

15  requirement shall not apply to a local government that adopts

16  a local communications services tax rate by resolution or

17  ordinance.  If complete data are not available at the time of

18  determining whether the revenues exceed the threshold, the

19  local government shall use the best data available for the

20  corresponding 2000-2001 period in making such determination.

21  This subparagraph shall not be construed as establishing a

22  right of action for any person to enforce this subparagraph or

23  challenge a local government's implementation of this

24  subparagraph.

25         (b)  Except as otherwise provided in this subsection,

26  "replaced revenue sources," as used in this section, means the

27  following taxes, charges, fees, or other impositions to the

28  extent that the respective local taxing jurisdictions were

29  authorized to impose them prior to July 1, 2000.

30         1.  With respect to municipalities and charter counties

31  and the taxes authorized by s. 202.19(1):


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    CS for SB 2322                                 First Engrossed



 1         a.  The public service tax on telecommunications

 2  authorized by former s. 166.231(9).

 3         b.  Franchise fees on cable service providers as

 4  authorized by 47 U.S.C. s. 542.

 5         c.  The public service tax on prepaid calling

 6  arrangements.

 7         d.  Franchise fees on dealers of communications

 8  services which use the public roads or rights-of-way, up to

 9  the limit set forth in s. 337.401. For purposes of calculating

10  rates under this section, it is the legislative intent that

11  charter counties be treated as having had the same authority

12  as municipalities to impose franchise fees on recurring local

13  telecommunication service revenues prior to July 1, 2000.

14  However, the Legislature recognizes that the authority of

15  charter counties to impose such fees is in dispute, and the

16  treatment provided in this section is not an expression of

17  legislative intent that charter counties actually do or do not

18  possess such authority.

19         e.  Actual permit fees relating to placing or

20  maintaining facilities in or on public roads or rights-of-way,

21  collected from providers of long-distance, cable, and mobile

22  communications services for the fiscal year ending September

23  30, 1999; however, if a municipality or charter county elects

24  the option to charge permit fees pursuant to s.

25  337.401(3)(c)1.a., such fees shall not be included as a

26  replaced revenue source.

27         2.  With respect to all other counties and the taxes

28  authorized in s. 202.19(1), franchise fees on cable service

29  providers as authorized by 47 U.S.C. s. 542.

30  

31  


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    CS for SB 2322                                 First Engrossed



 1         Section 4.  Effective July 1, 2007, paragraph (a) of

 2  subsection (2) of section 202.20, Florida Statutes, is

 3  repealed.

 4         Section 5.  Effective July 1, 2007, section 202.21,

 5  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

 6         202.21  Effective dates; procedures for informing

 7  dealers of communications services of tax levies and rate

 8  changes.--Any adoption, repeal, or change in the rate of a

 9  local communications services tax imposed under s. 202.19 is

10  effective with respect to taxable services included on bills

11  that are dated on or after the January 1 subsequent to such

12  adoption, repeal, or change. A municipality or county

13  adopting, repealing, or changing the rate of such tax must

14  notify the department of the adoption, repeal, or change by

15  September 1 immediately preceding such January 1. Notification

16  must be furnished on a form prescribed by the department and

17  must specify the rate of tax; the effective date of the

18  adoption, repeal, or change thereof; and the name, mailing

19  address, and telephone number of a person designated by the

20  municipality or county to respond to inquiries concerning the

21  tax. The department shall provide notice of such adoption,

22  repeal, or change to all affected dealers of communications

23  services at least 90 days before the effective date of the

24  tax. Any local government that adjusts the rate of its local

25  communications services tax by emergency ordinance or

26  resolution pursuant to s. 202.20(2) shall notify the

27  department of the new tax rate immediately upon its adoption.

28  The department shall provide written notice of the adoption of

29  the new rate to all affected dealers within 30 days after

30  receiving such notice. In any notice to providers or

31  publication of local tax rates for purposes of this chapter,


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    CS for SB 2322                                 First Engrossed



 1  the department shall express the rate for a municipality or

 2  charter county as the sum of the tax rates levied within such

 3  jurisdiction pursuant to s. 202.19(2)(a) and (5), and shall

 4  express the rate for any other county as the sum of the tax

 5  rates levied pursuant to s. 202.19(2)(b) and (5). The

 6  department is not liable for any loss of or decrease in

 7  revenue by reason of any error, omission, or untimely action

 8  that results in the nonpayment of a tax imposed under s.

 9  202.19.

10         Section 6.  The amendments to section 202.19(3)(a),

11  Florida Statutes, contained in this act are remedial in nature

12  and intended to clarify the law in effect on October 1, 2001,

13  but do not grant any right to a refund of any fees or charges

14  paid prior to July 1, 2004, unless the payment was made under

15  written protest as to the authority of any local government to

16  impose such fees or costs on a dealer.

17         Section 7.  Paragraph (a) of subsection (13) of section

18  365.171, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

19         365.171  Emergency telephone number "911."--

20         (13)  "911" FEE.--

21         (a)  Following approval by referendum as set forth in

22  paragraph (b), or following approval by a majority vote of its

23  board of county commissioners, a county may impose a "911" fee

24  to be paid by the local exchange subscribers within its

25  boundaries served by the "911" service.  Proceeds from the

26  "911" fee shall be used only for "911" expenditures as set

27  forth in subparagraph 6.  The manner of imposing and

28  collecting said payment shall be as follows:

29         1.  At the request of the county subscribing to "911"

30  service, the telephone company shall, insofar as is

31  practicable, bill the "911" fee to the local exchange


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    CS for SB 2322                                 First Engrossed



 1  subscribers served by the "911" service, on an individual

 2  access line basis, at a rate not to exceed 50 cents per month

 3  per line (up to a maximum of 25 access lines per account bill

 4  rendered).  However, the fee may not be assessed on any pay

 5  telephone in this state.  A county collecting the fee for the

 6  first time may collect the fee for no longer than 36 months

 7  without initiating the acquisition of its "911" equipment.

 8         2.  Fees collected by the telephone company pursuant to

 9  subparagraph 1. shall be returned to the county, less the

10  costs of administration retained pursuant to paragraph (c).

11  The county shall provide a minimum of 90 days' written notice

12  to the telephone company prior to the collection of any "911"

13  fees.

14         3.  Any county that currently has an operational "911"

15  system or that is actively pursuing the implementation of a

16  "911" system shall establish a fund to be used exclusively for

17  receipt and expenditure of "911" fee revenues collected

18  pursuant to this section.  All fees placed in said fund, and

19  any interest accrued thereupon, shall be used solely for "911"

20  costs described in subparagraph 6.  The money collected and

21  interest earned in this fund shall be appropriated for "911"

22  purposes by the county commissioners and incorporated into the

23  annual county budget. Such fund shall be included within the

24  financial audit performed in accordance with s. 218.39. A

25  report of the audit shall be forwarded to the office within 60

26  days of its completion.  A county may carry forward on an

27  annual basis unspent moneys in the fund for expenditures

28  allowed by this section, or it may reduce its fee. However, in

29  no event shall a county carry forward more than 10 percent of

30  the "911" fee billed for the prior year. The amount of moneys

31  carried forward each year may be accumulated in order to allow


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    CS for SB 2322                                 First Engrossed



 1  for capital improvements described in this subsection.  The

 2  carryover shall be documented by resolution of the board of

 3  county commissioners expressing the purpose of the carryover

 4  or by an adopted capital improvement program identifying

 5  projected expansion or replacement expenditures for "911"

 6  equipment and service features, or both. In no event shall the

 7  "911" fee carryover surplus moneys be used for any purpose

 8  other than for the "911" equipment, service features, and

 9  installation charges authorized in subparagraph 6. Nothing in

10  this section shall prohibit a county from using other sources

11  of revenue for improvements, replacements, or expansions of

12  its "911" system. A county may increase its fee for purposes

13  authorized in this section. However, in no case shall the fee

14  exceed 50 cents per month per line.  All current "911" fees

15  shall be reported to the office within 30 days of the start of

16  each county's fiscal period. Any fee adjustment made by a

17  county shall be reported to the office. A county shall give

18  the telephone company a 90-day written notice of such fee

19  adjustment.

20         4.  The telephone company shall have no obligation to

21  take any legal action to enforce collection of the "911" fee.

22  The telephone company shall provide quarterly to the county a

23  list of the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of any and

24  all subscribers who have identified to the telephone company

25  their refusal to pay the "911" fee.

26         5.  The county subscribing to "911" service shall

27  remain liable to the telephone company for any "911" service,

28  equipment, operation, or maintenance charge owed by the county

29  to the telephone company.

30  

31  


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    CS for SB 2322                                 First Engrossed



 1  As used in this paragraph, "telephone company" means an

 2  exchange telephone service provider of "911" service or

 3  equipment to any county within its certificated area.

 4         6.  It is the intent of the Legislature that the "911"

 5  fee authorized by this section to be imposed by counties will

 6  not necessarily provide the total funding required for

 7  establishing or providing the "911" service.  For purposes of

 8  this section, "911" service includes the functions of database

 9  management, call taking, location verification, and call

10  transfer.  The following costs directly attributable to the

11  establishment and/or provision of "911" service are eligible

12  for expenditure of moneys derived from imposition of the "911"

13  fee authorized by this section:  the acquisition,

14  implementation, and maintenance of Public Safety Answering

15  Point (PSAP) equipment and "911" service features, as defined

16  in the Florida Public Service Commission's lawfully approved

17  "911" and related tariffs and/or the acquisition,

18  installation, and maintenance of other "911" equipment,

19  including call answering equipment, call transfer equipment,

20  ANI controllers, ALI controllers, ANI displays, ALI displays,

21  station instruments, "911" telecommunications systems,

22  teleprinters, logging recorders, instant playback recorders,

23  telephone devices for the deaf (TDD) used in the "911" system,

24  PSAP backup power systems, consoles, automatic call

25  distributors, and interfaces (hardware and software) for

26  computer-aided dispatch (CAD) systems; salary and associated

27  expenses for "911" call takers for that portion of their time

28  spent taking and transferring "911" calls; salary and

29  associated expenses for a county to employ a full-time

30  equivalent "911" coordinator position and a full-time

31  equivalent staff assistant position per county for the portion


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    CS for SB 2322                                 First Engrossed



 1  of their time spent administrating the "911" system; training

 2  costs for PSAP call takers in the proper methods and

 3  techniques used in taking and transferring "911" calls;

 4  expenses required to develop and maintain all information (ALI

 5  and ANI databases and other information source repositories)

 6  necessary to properly inform call takers as to location

 7  address, type of emergency, and other information directly

 8  relevant to the "911" call-taking and transferring function;

 9  and, in a county defined in s. 125.011(1), such expenses

10  related to a nonemergency "311" system, or similar

11  nonemergency system, which improves the overall efficiency of

12  an existing "911" system or reduces "911" emergency response

13  time for a 2-year pilot project that ends June 30, 2009 2003.

14  However, no wireless telephone service provider shall be

15  required to participate in this pilot project or to otherwise

16  implement a nonemergency "311" system or similar nonemergency

17  system. The "911" fee revenues shall not be used to pay for

18  any item not listed, including, but not limited to, any

19  capital or operational costs for emergency responses which

20  occur after the call transfer to the responding public safety

21  entity and the costs for constructing buildings, leasing

22  buildings, maintaining buildings, or renovating buildings,

23  except for those building modifications necessary to maintain

24  the security and environmental integrity of the PSAP and "911"

25  equipment rooms.

26         7.  It is the goal of the Legislature that enhanced

27  "911" service be available throughout the state.  Expenditure

28  by counties of the "911" fees authorized by this section

29  should support this goal to the greatest extent feasible

30  within the context of local service needs and fiscal

31  capability. Nothing in this section shall be construed to


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    CS for SB 2322                                 First Engrossed



 1  prohibit two or more counties from establishing a combined

 2  emergency "911" telephone service by interlocal agreement and

 3  utilizing the "911" fees authorized by this section for such

 4  combined "911" service.

 5         Section 8.  Except as otherwise expressly provided in

 6  this act, this act shall take effect July 1, 2004.

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