November 16, 2019
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       Florida Senate - 2010                             CS for SB 2540
       
       
       
       By the Committee on Community Affairs; and Senator Fasano
       
       
       
       
       578-04916-10                                          20102540c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to professional sports franchises;
    3         amending ss. 14.2015, 212.20, and 218.64, F.S.,
    4         relating to the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic
    5         Development, the distribution of certain tax proceeds,
    6         and the allocation of a portion of the local
    7         government half-cent sales tax; conforming provisions
    8         to changes made by the act; conforming cross
    9         references; amending s. 288.1162, F.S.; deleting
   10         provisions relating to the certification and funding
   11         of facilities for spring training baseball franchises;
   12         authorizing the Auditor General to conduct audits to
   13         verify whether certain funds for professional sports
   14         franchises are used as required by law; requiring the
   15         Auditor General to notify the Department of Revenue if
   16         the funds are not used as required by law; creating s.
   17         288.11621, F.S.; authorizing certain units of local
   18         government to apply for certification to receive state
   19         funding for a facility for a spring training
   20         franchise; providing definitions; providing
   21         eligibility requirements; providing criteria to
   22         competitively evaluate applications for certification;
   23         requiring a certified applicant to use the funds
   24         awarded for specified public purposes and place
   25         unexpended funds in a trust fund or separate account;
   26         authorizing a certified applicant to request a
   27         suspension of the distribution of funds for a
   28         specified period under certain circumstances;
   29         requiring the expenditure of funds by certain
   30         certified applicants within a specified period;
   31         requiring the completion of certain spring training
   32         facility projects within a specified period; requiring
   33         certified applicants to submit annual reports to the
   34         Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development;
   35         requiring the office to decertify applicants under
   36         certain circumstances; providing for delay in
   37         decertification proceedings for local governments
   38         certified before a specified date under certain
   39         circumstances; providing for review of the office’s
   40         notice of intent to decertify an applicant; requiring
   41         an applicant to repay unencumbered state funds and
   42         interest after decertification; specifying
   43         circumstances under which a certified applicant that
   44         is a local government may not be decertified under
   45         certain circumstances; requiring the office to develop
   46         a strategic plan relating to baseball spring training
   47         activities; requiring the office to adopt rules;
   48         authorizing the Auditor General to conduct audits to
   49         verify whether certified funds for baseball spring
   50         training facilities are used as required by law;
   51         requiring the Auditor General to notify the Department
   52         of Revenue if the funds are not used as required by
   53         law; amending s. 288.1229, F.S.; providing that the
   54         Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development may
   55         authorize a direct-support organization to assist in
   56         the retention of professional sports franchises;
   57         recognizing the validity of specified agreements under
   58         certain circumstances; providing an effective date.
   59  
   60  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   61  
   62         Section 1. Paragraph (f) of subsection (2) of section
   63  14.2015, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   64         14.2015 Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development;
   65  creation; powers and duties.—
   66         (2) The purpose of the Office of Tourism, Trade, and
   67  Economic Development is to assist the Governor in working with
   68  the Legislature, state agencies, business leaders, and economic
   69  development professionals to formulate and implement coherent
   70  and consistent policies and strategies designed to provide
   71  economic opportunities for all Floridians. To accomplish such
   72  purposes, the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development
   73  shall:
   74         (f)1. Administer the Florida Enterprise Zone Act under ss.
   75  290.001-290.016, the community contribution tax credit program
   76  under ss. 220.183 and 624.5105, the tax refund program for
   77  qualified target industry businesses under s. 288.106, the tax
   78  refund program for qualified defense contractors and space
   79  flight business contractors under s. 288.1045, contracts for
   80  transportation projects under s. 288.063, the sports franchise
   81  facility programs program under ss. 288.1162 and 288.11621 s.
   82  288.1162, the professional golf hall of fame facility program
   83  under s. 288.1168, the expedited permitting process under s.
   84  403.973, the Rural Community Development Revolving Loan Fund
   85  under s. 288.065, the Regional Rural Development Grants Program
   86  under s. 288.018, the Certified Capital Company Act under s.
   87  288.99, the Florida State Rural Development Council, the Rural
   88  Economic Development Initiative, and other programs that are
   89  specifically assigned to the office by law, by the
   90  appropriations process, or by the Governor. Notwithstanding any
   91  other provisions of law, the office may expend interest earned
   92  from the investment of program funds deposited in the Grants and
   93  Donations Trust Fund to contract for the administration of the
   94  programs, or portions of the programs, enumerated in this
   95  paragraph or assigned to the office by law, by the
   96  appropriations process, or by the Governor. Such expenditures
   97  shall be subject to review under chapter 216.
   98         2. The office may enter into contracts in connection with
   99  the fulfillment of its duties concerning the Florida First
  100  Business Bond Pool under chapter 159, tax incentives under
  101  chapters 212 and 220, tax incentives under the Certified Capital
  102  Company Act in chapter 288, foreign offices under chapter 288,
  103  the Enterprise Zone program under chapter 290, the Seaport
  104  Employment Training program under chapter 311, the Florida
  105  Professional Sports Team License Plates under chapter 320,
  106  Spaceport Florida under chapter 331, Expedited Permitting under
  107  chapter 403, and in carrying out other functions that are
  108  specifically assigned to the office by law, by the
  109  appropriations process, or by the Governor.
  110         Section 2. Paragraph (d) of subsection (6) of section
  111  212.20, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  112         212.20 Funds collected, disposition; additional powers of
  113  department; operational expense; refund of taxes adjudicated
  114  unconstitutionally collected.—
  115         (6) Distribution of all proceeds under this chapter and s.
  116  202.18(1)(b) and (2)(b) shall be as follows:
  117         (d) The proceeds of all other taxes and fees imposed
  118  pursuant to this chapter or remitted pursuant to s. 202.18(1)(b)
  119  and (2)(b) shall be distributed as follows:
  120         1. In any fiscal year, the greater of $500 million, minus
  121  an amount equal to 4.6 percent of the proceeds of the taxes
  122  collected pursuant to chapter 201, or 5.2 percent of all other
  123  taxes and fees imposed pursuant to this chapter or remitted
  124  pursuant to s. 202.18(1)(b) and (2)(b) shall be deposited in
  125  monthly installments into the General Revenue Fund.
  126         2. After the distribution under subparagraph 1., 8.814
  127  percent of the amount remitted by a sales tax dealer located
  128  within a participating county pursuant to s. 218.61 shall be
  129  transferred into the Local Government Half-cent Sales Tax
  130  Clearing Trust Fund. Beginning July 1, 2003, the amount to be
  131  transferred shall be reduced by 0.1 percent, and the department
  132  shall distribute this amount to the Public Employees Relations
  133  Commission Trust Fund less $5,000 each month, which shall be
  134  added to the amount calculated in subparagraph 3. and
  135  distributed accordingly.
  136         3. After the distribution under subparagraphs 1. and 2.,
  137  0.095 percent shall be transferred to the Local Government Half
  138  cent Sales Tax Clearing Trust Fund and distributed pursuant to
  139  s. 218.65.
  140         4. After the distributions under subparagraphs 1., 2., and
  141  3., 2.0440 percent of the available proceeds shall be
  142  transferred monthly to the Revenue Sharing Trust Fund for
  143  Counties pursuant to s. 218.215.
  144         5. After the distributions under subparagraphs 1., 2., and
  145  3., 1.3409 percent of the available proceeds shall be
  146  transferred monthly to the Revenue Sharing Trust Fund for
  147  Municipalities pursuant to s. 218.215. If the total revenue to
  148  be distributed pursuant to this subparagraph is at least as
  149  great as the amount due from the Revenue Sharing Trust Fund for
  150  Municipalities and the former Municipal Financial Assistance
  151  Trust Fund in state fiscal year 1999-2000, no municipality shall
  152  receive less than the amount due from the Revenue Sharing Trust
  153  Fund for Municipalities and the former Municipal Financial
  154  Assistance Trust Fund in state fiscal year 1999-2000. If the
  155  total proceeds to be distributed are less than the amount
  156  received in combination from the Revenue Sharing Trust Fund for
  157  Municipalities and the former Municipal Financial Assistance
  158  Trust Fund in state fiscal year 1999-2000, each municipality
  159  shall receive an amount proportionate to the amount it was due
  160  in state fiscal year 1999-2000.
  161         6. Of the remaining proceeds:
  162         a. In each fiscal year, the sum of $29,915,500 shall be
  163  divided into as many equal parts as there are counties in the
  164  state, and one part shall be distributed to each county. The
  165  distribution among the several counties must begin each fiscal
  166  year on or before January 5th and continue monthly for a total
  167  of 4 months. If a local or special law required that any moneys
  168  accruing to a county in fiscal year 1999-2000 under the then
  169  existing provisions of s. 550.135 be paid directly to the
  170  district school board, special district, or a municipal
  171  government, such payment must continue until the local or
  172  special law is amended or repealed. The state covenants with
  173  holders of bonds or other instruments of indebtedness issued by
  174  local governments, special districts, or district school boards
  175  before July 1, 2000, that it is not the intent of this
  176  subparagraph to adversely affect the rights of those holders or
  177  relieve local governments, special districts, or district school
  178  boards of the duty to meet their obligations as a result of
  179  previous pledges or assignments or trusts entered into which
  180  obligated funds received from the distribution to county
  181  governments under then-existing s. 550.135. This distribution
  182  specifically is in lieu of funds distributed under s. 550.135
  183  before July 1, 2000.
  184         b. The department shall distribute $166,667 monthly
  185  pursuant to s. 288.1162 to each applicant that has been
  186  certified as a facility for a new or retained professional
  187  sports franchise “facility for a new professional sports
  188  franchise” or a “facility for a retained professional sports
  189  franchise” pursuant to s. 288.1162. Up to $41,667 shall be
  190  distributed monthly by the department to each certified
  191  applicant as defined in s. 288.11621 for a facility for a spring
  192  training franchise. that has been certified as a “facility for a
  193  retained spring training franchise” pursuant to s. 288.1162;
  194  However, not more than $416,670 may be distributed monthly in
  195  the aggregate to all certified applicants for facilities for a
  196  retained spring training franchises franchise. Distributions
  197  must begin 60 days after following such certification and shall
  198  continue for not more than 30 years, except as otherwise
  199  provided in s. 288.11621. A certified applicant identified in
  200  this sub-subparagraph may not This paragraph may not be
  201  construed to allow an applicant certified pursuant to s.
  202  288.1162 to receive more in distributions than actually expended
  203  by the applicant for the public purposes provided for in s.
  204  288.1162(5) or s. 288.11621(3) s. 288.1162(6).
  205         c. Beginning 30 days after notice by the Office of Tourism,
  206  Trade, and Economic Development to the Department of Revenue
  207  that an applicant has been certified as the professional golf
  208  hall of fame pursuant to s. 288.1168 and is open to the public,
  209  $166,667 shall be distributed monthly, for up to 300 months, to
  210  the applicant.
  211         d. Beginning 30 days after notice by the Office of Tourism,
  212  Trade, and Economic Development to the Department of Revenue
  213  that the applicant has been certified as the International Game
  214  Fish Association World Center facility pursuant to s. 288.1169,
  215  and the facility is open to the public, $83,333 shall be
  216  distributed monthly, for up to 168 months, to the applicant.
  217  This distribution is subject to reduction pursuant to s.
  218  288.1169. A lump sum payment of $999,996 shall be made, after
  219  certification and before July 1, 2000.
  220         7. All other proceeds must remain in the General Revenue
  221  Fund.
  222         Section 3. Section 218.64, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  223  read:
  224         218.64 Local government half-cent sales tax; uses;
  225  limitations.—
  226         (1) The proportion of the local government half-cent sales
  227  tax received by a county government based on two-thirds of the
  228  incorporated area population shall be deemed countywide revenues
  229  and shall be expended only for countywide tax relief or
  230  countywide programs. The remaining county government portion
  231  shall be deemed county revenues derived on behalf of the
  232  unincorporated area but may be expended on a countywide basis.
  233         (2) Municipalities shall expend their portions of the local
  234  government half-cent sales tax only for municipality-wide
  235  programs or for municipality-wide property tax or municipal
  236  utility tax relief. All utility tax rate reductions afforded by
  237  participation in the local government half-cent sales tax shall
  238  be applied uniformly across all types of taxed utility services.
  239         (3) Subject to ordinances enacted by the majority of the
  240  members of the county governing authority and by the majority of
  241  the members of the governing authorities of municipalities
  242  representing at least 50 percent of the municipal population of
  243  such county, counties may use up to $2 million annually of the
  244  local government half-cent sales tax allocated to that county
  245  for funding for any of the following applicants:
  246         (a) A certified applicant as a facility for a new or
  247  retained professional sports franchise under “facility for a new
  248  professional sports franchise,” a “facility for a retained
  249  professional sports franchise,” or a “facility for a retained
  250  spring training franchise,” as provided for in s. 288.1162 or a
  251  certified applicant as defined in s. 288.11621 for a facility
  252  for a spring training franchise. It is the Legislature’s intent
  253  that the provisions of s. 288.1162, including, but not limited
  254  to, the evaluation process by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and
  255  Economic Development except for the limitation on the number of
  256  certified applicants or facilities as provided in that section
  257  and the restrictions set forth in s. 288.1162(8) s. 288.1162(9),
  258  shall apply to an applicant’s facility to be funded by local
  259  government as provided in this subsection.
  260         (b) A certified applicant as a “motorsport entertainment
  261  complex,” as provided for in s. 288.1171. Funding for each
  262  franchise or motorsport complex shall begin 60 days after
  263  certification and shall continue for not more than 30 years.
  264         (4) A local government is authorized to pledge proceeds of
  265  the local government half-cent sales tax for the payment of
  266  principal and interest on any capital project.
  267         Section 4. Section 288.1162, Florida Statutes, is amended
  268  to read:
  269         288.1162 Professional sports franchises; spring training
  270  franchises; duties.—
  271         (1) The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development
  272  shall serve as the state agency for screening applicants for
  273  state funding under pursuant to s. 212.20 and for certifying an
  274  applicant as a facility for a new or retained professional
  275  sports franchise. “facility for a new professional sports
  276  franchise,” a “facility for a retained professional sports
  277  franchise,” or a “facility for a retained spring training
  278  franchise.”
  279         (2) The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development
  280  shall develop rules for the receipt and processing of
  281  applications for funding under pursuant to s. 212.20.
  282         (3) As used in this section, the term:
  283         (a) “New professional sports franchise” means a
  284  professional sports franchise that was is not based in this
  285  state before prior to April 1, 1987.
  286         (b) “Retained professional sports franchise” means a
  287  professional sports franchise that has had a league-authorized
  288  location in this state on or before December 31, 1976, and has
  289  continuously remained at that location, and has never been
  290  located at a facility that has been previously certified under
  291  any provision of this section.
  292         (4) Before Prior to certifying an applicant as a facility
  293  for a new or retained professional sports franchise, “facility
  294  for a new professional sports franchise” or a “facility for a
  295  retained professional sports franchise,” the Office of Tourism,
  296  Trade, and Economic Development must determine that:
  297         (a) A “unit of local government” as defined in s. 218.369
  298  is responsible for the construction, management, or operation of
  299  the professional sports franchise facility or holds title to the
  300  property on which the professional sports franchise facility is
  301  located.
  302         (b) The applicant has a verified copy of a signed agreement
  303  with a new professional sports franchise for the use of the
  304  facility for a term of at least 10 years, or in the case of a
  305  retained professional sports franchise, an agreement for use of
  306  the facility for a term of at least 20 years.
  307         (c) The applicant has a verified copy of the approval from
  308  the governing authority of the league in which the new
  309  professional sports franchise exists authorizing the location of
  310  the professional sports franchise in this state after April 1,
  311  1987, or in the case of a retained professional sports
  312  franchise, verified evidence that it has had a league-authorized
  313  location in this state on or before December 31, 1976. As used
  314  in this section, the term “league” means the National League or
  315  the American League of Major League Baseball, the National
  316  Basketball Association, the National Football League, or the
  317  National Hockey League.
  318         (d) The applicant has projections, verified by the Office
  319  of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development, which demonstrate
  320  that the new or retained professional sports franchise will
  321  attract a paid attendance of more than 300,000 annually.
  322         (e) The applicant has an independent analysis or study,
  323  verified by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic
  324  Development, which demonstrates that the amount of the revenues
  325  generated by the taxes imposed under chapter 212 with respect to
  326  the use and operation of the professional sports franchise
  327  facility will equal or exceed $2 million annually.
  328         (f) The municipality in which the facility for a new or
  329  retained professional sports franchise is located, or the county
  330  if the facility for a new or retained professional sports
  331  franchise is located in an unincorporated area, has certified by
  332  resolution after a public hearing that the application serves a
  333  public purpose.
  334         (g) The applicant has demonstrated that it has provided, is
  335  capable of providing, or has financial or other commitments to
  336  provide more than one-half of the costs incurred or related to
  337  the improvement and development of the facility.
  338         (h) An No applicant previously certified under any
  339  provision of this section who has received funding under such
  340  certification is not shall be eligible for an additional
  341  certification.
  342         (5)(a) As used in this section, the term “retained spring
  343  training franchise” means a spring training franchise that has
  344  been based in this state prior to January 1, 2000.
  345         (b) Prior to certifying an applicant as a “facility for a
  346  retained spring training franchise,” the Office of Tourism,
  347  Trade, and Economic Development must determine that:
  348         1. A “unit of local government” as defined in s. 218.369 is
  349  responsible for the acquisition, construction, management, or
  350  operation of the facility for a retained spring training
  351  franchise or holds title to the property on which the facility
  352  for a retained spring training franchise is located.
  353         2. The applicant has a verified copy of a signed agreement
  354  with a retained spring training franchise for the use of the
  355  facility for a term of at least 15 years.
  356         3. The applicant has a financial commitment to provide 50
  357  percent or more of the funds required by an agreement for the
  358  acquisition, construction, or renovation of the facility for a
  359  retained spring training franchise. The agreement can be
  360  contingent upon the awarding of funds under this section and
  361  other conditions precedent to use by the spring training
  362  franchise.
  363         4. The applicant has projections, verified by the Office of
  364  Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development, which demonstrate that
  365  the facility for a retained spring training franchise will
  366  attract a paid attendance of at least 50,000 annually.
  367         5. The facility for a retained spring training franchise is
  368  located in a county that is levying a tourist development tax
  369  pursuant to s. 125.0104.
  370         (c)1. The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic
  371  Development shall competitively evaluate applications for
  372  funding of a facility for a retained spring training franchise.
  373  Applications must be submitted by October 1, 2000, with
  374  certifications to be made by January 1, 2001. If the number of
  375  applicants exceeds five and the aggregate funding request of all
  376  applications exceeds $208,335 per month, the office shall rank
  377  the applications according to a selection criteria, certifying
  378  the highest ranked proposals. The evaluation criteria shall
  379  include, with priority given in descending order to the
  380  following items:
  381         a. The intended use of the funds by the applicant, with
  382  priority given to the construction of a new facility.
  383         b. The length of time that the existing franchise has been
  384  located in the state, with priority given to retaining
  385  franchises that have been in the same location the longest.
  386         c. The length of time that a facility to be used by a
  387  retained spring training franchise has been used by one or more
  388  spring training franchises, with priority given to a facility
  389  that has been in continuous use as a facility for spring
  390  training the longest.
  391         d. For those teams leasing a spring training facility from
  392  a unit of local government, the remaining time on the lease for
  393  facilities used by the spring training franchise, with priority
  394  given to the shortest time period remaining on the lease.
  395         e. The duration of the future-use agreement with the
  396  retained spring training franchise, with priority given to the
  397  future-use agreement having the longest duration.
  398         f. The amount of the local match, with priority given to
  399  the largest percentage of local match proposed.
  400         g. The net increase of total active recreation space owned
  401  by the applying unit of local government following the
  402  acquisition of land for the spring training facility, with
  403  priority given to the largest percentage increase of total
  404  active recreation space.
  405         h. The location of the facility in a brownfield, an
  406  enterprise zone, a community redevelopment area, or other area
  407  of targeted development or revitalization included in an Urban
  408  Infill Redevelopment Plan, with priority given to facilities
  409  located in these areas.
  410         i. The projections on paid attendance attracted by the
  411  facility and the proposed effect on the economy of the local
  412  community, with priority given to the highest projected paid
  413  attendance.
  414         2. Beginning July 1, 2006, the Office of Tourism, Trade,
  415  and Economic Development shall competitively evaluate
  416  applications for funding of facilities for retained spring
  417  training franchises in addition to those certified and funded
  418  under subparagraph 1. An applicant that is a unit of government
  419  that has an agreement for a retained spring training franchise
  420  for 15 or more years which was entered into between July 1,
  421  2003, and July 1, 2004, shall be eligible for funding.
  422  Applications must be submitted by October 1, 2006, with
  423  certifications to be made by January 1, 2007. The office shall
  424  rank the applications according to selection criteria,
  425  certifying no more than five proposals. The aggregate funding
  426  request of all applicants certified shall not exceed an
  427  aggregate funding request of $208,335 per month. The evaluation
  428  criteria shall include the following, with priority given in
  429  descending order:
  430         a. The intended use of the funds by the applicant for
  431  acquisition or construction of a new facility.
  432         b. The intended use of the funds by the applicant to
  433  renovate a facility.
  434         c. The length of time that a facility to be used by a
  435  retained spring training franchise has been used by one or more
  436  spring training franchises, with priority given to a facility
  437  that has been in continuous use as a facility for spring
  438  training the longest.
  439         d. For those teams leasing a spring training facility from
  440  a unit of local government, the remaining time on the lease for
  441  facilities used by the spring training franchise, with priority
  442  given to the shortest time period remaining on the lease. For
  443  consideration under this subparagraph, the remaining time on the
  444  lease shall not exceed 5 years, unless an agreement of 15 years
  445  or more was entered into between July 1, 2003, and July 1, 2004.
  446         e. The duration of the future-use agreement with the
  447  retained spring training franchise, with priority given to the
  448  future-use agreement having the longest duration.
  449         f. The amount of the local match, with priority given to
  450  the largest percentage of local match proposed.
  451         g. The net increase of total active recreation space owned
  452  by the applying unit of local government following the
  453  acquisition of land for the spring training facility, with
  454  priority given to the largest percentage increase of total
  455  active recreation space.
  456         h. The location of the facility in a brownfield area, an
  457  enterprise zone, a community redevelopment area, or another area
  458  of targeted development or revitalization included in an urban
  459  infill redevelopment plan, with priority given to facilities
  460  located in those areas.
  461         i. The projections on paid attendance attracted by the
  462  facility and the proposed effect on the economy of the local
  463  community, with priority given to the highest projected paid
  464  attendance.
  465         (d) Funds may not be expended to subsidize privately owned
  466  and maintained facilities for use by the spring training
  467  franchise. Funds may be used to relocate a retained spring
  468  training franchise to another unit of local government only if
  469  the existing unit of local government with the retained spring
  470  training franchise agrees to the relocation.
  471         (5)(6) An applicant certified as a facility for a new or
  472  retained professional sports franchise or a facility for a
  473  retained professional sports franchise or as a facility for a
  474  retained spring training franchise may use funds provided under
  475  pursuant to s. 212.20 only for the public purpose of paying for
  476  the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, or renovation of
  477  a facility for a new or retained professional sports franchise,
  478  a facility for a retained professional sports franchise, or a
  479  facility for a retained spring training franchise or to pay or
  480  pledge for the payment of debt service on, or to fund debt
  481  service reserve funds, arbitrage rebate obligations, or other
  482  amounts payable with respect to, bonds issued for the
  483  acquisition, construction, reconstruction, or renovation of such
  484  facility or for the reimbursement of such costs or the
  485  refinancing of bonds issued for such purposes.
  486         (6)(7)(a) The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic
  487  Development shall notify the Department of Revenue of any
  488  facility certified as a facility for a new or retained
  489  professional sports franchise or a facility for a retained
  490  professional sports franchise or as a facility for a retained
  491  spring training franchise. The Office of Tourism, Trade, and
  492  Economic Development shall certify no more than eight facilities
  493  as facilities for a new professional sports franchise or as
  494  facilities for a retained professional sports franchise,
  495  including in the such total any facilities certified by the
  496  former Department of Commerce before July 1, 1996. The number of
  497  facilities certified as a retained spring training franchise
  498  shall be as provided in subsection (5). The office may make no
  499  more than one certification for any facility. The office may not
  500  certify funding for less than the requested amount to any
  501  applicant certified as a facility for a retained spring training
  502  franchise.
  503         (b) The eighth certification of an applicant under this
  504  section as a facility for a new or retained professional sports
  505  franchise or a facility for a retained professional sports
  506  franchise shall be for a franchise that is a member of the
  507  National Basketball Association, has been located within the
  508  state since 1987, and has not been previously certified. This
  509  paragraph is repealed July 1, 2010.
  510         (7)(8) The Auditor General Department of Revenue may
  511  conduct audits audit as provided in s. 11.45 s. 213.34 to verify
  512  that the distributions under pursuant to this section are have
  513  been expended as required in this section. Such information is
  514  subject to the confidentiality requirements of chapter 213. If
  515  the Auditor General Department of Revenue determines that the
  516  distributions under pursuant to this section are have not been
  517  expended as required by this section, the Auditor General shall
  518  notify the Department of Revenue, which it may pursue recovery
  519  of the such funds under pursuant to the laws and rules governing
  520  the assessment of taxes.
  521         (8)(9) An applicant is not qualified for certification
  522  under this section if the franchise formed the basis for a
  523  previous certification, unless the previous certification was
  524  withdrawn by the facility or invalidated by the Office of
  525  Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development or the former
  526  Department of Commerce before any funds were distributed under
  527  pursuant to s. 212.20. This subsection does not disqualify an
  528  applicant if the previous certification occurred between May 23,
  529  1993, and May 25, 1993; however, any funds to be distributed
  530  under pursuant to s. 212.20 for the second certification shall
  531  be offset by the amount distributed to the previous certified
  532  facility. Distribution of funds for the second certification
  533  shall not be made until all amounts payable for the first
  534  certification are have been distributed.
  535         Section 5. Section 288.11621, Florida Statutes, is created
  536  to read:
  537         288.11621 Spring training baseball franchises.—
  538         (1) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
  539         (a) “Agreement” means a certified, signed lease between an
  540  applicant that applies for certification on or after July 1,
  541  2010, and the spring training franchise for the use of a
  542  facility.
  543         (b) “Applicant” means a unit of local government as defined
  544  in s. 218.369, including local governments located in the same
  545  county that have partnered with a certified applicant before the
  546  effective date of this section or with an applicant for a new
  547  certification, for purposes of sharing in the responsibilities
  548  of a facility.
  549         (c) “Certified applicant” means a facility for a spring
  550  training franchise that was certified before July 1, 2010, under
  551  s. 288.1162(5), Florida Statutes 2009, or a unit of local
  552  government that is certified under this section.
  553         (d) “Facility” means a spring training stadium, playing
  554  fields, and appurtenances intended to support spring training
  555  activities.
  556         (e) “Local funds” and “local matching funds” mean funds
  557  provided by a county, municipality, or other local government.
  558         (f) “Office” means the Office of Tourism, Trade, and
  559  Economic Development.
  560         (2) CERTIFICATION PROCESS.—
  561         (a) Before certifying an applicant to receive state funding
  562  for a facility for a spring training franchise, the office must
  563  verify that:
  564         1. The applicant is responsible for the acquisition,
  565  construction, management, or operation of the facility for a
  566  spring training franchise or holds title to the property on
  567  which the facility for a spring training franchise is located.
  568         2. The applicant has a certified copy of a signed agreement
  569  with a spring training franchise for the use of the facility for
  570  a term of at least 20 years. The agreement also must require the
  571  franchise to reimburse the state for state funds expended by an
  572  applicant under this section if the franchise relocates before
  573  the agreement expires. The agreement may be contingent on an
  574  award of funds under this section and other conditions
  575  precedent.
  576         3. The applicant has made a financial commitment to provide
  577  50 percent or more of the funds required by an agreement for the
  578  acquisition, construction, or renovation of the facility for a
  579  spring training franchise. The commitment may be contingent upon
  580  an award of funds under this section and other conditions
  581  precedent.
  582         4. The applicant demonstrates that the facility for a
  583  spring training franchise will attract a paid attendance of at
  584  least 50,000 annually to the spring training games.
  585         5. The facility for a spring training franchise is located
  586  in a county that levies a tourist development tax under s.
  587  125.0104.
  588         (b) The office shall competitively evaluate applications
  589  for state funding of a facility for a spring training franchise.
  590  The total number of certifications may not exceed 10 at any
  591  time. The evaluation criteria must include, with priority given
  592  in descending order to, the following items:
  593         1. The anticipated effect on the economy of the local
  594  community where the spring training facility is to be built,
  595  including projections on paid attendance, local and state tax
  596  collections generated by spring training games, and direct and
  597  indirect job creation resulting from the spring training
  598  activities. Priority shall be given to applicants who can
  599  demonstrate the largest projected economic impact.
  600         2. The amount of the local matching funds committed to a
  601  facility relative to the amount of state funding sought, with
  602  priority given to applicants that commit the largest amount of
  603  local matching funds relative to the amount of state funding
  604  sought.
  605         3. The potential for the facility to serve multiple uses.
  606         4. The intended use of the funds by the applicant, with
  607  priority given to the funds being used to acquire a facility,
  608  construct a new facility, or renovate an existing facility.
  609         5. The length of time that a spring training franchise has
  610  been under an agreement to conduct spring training activities
  611  within an applicant’s geographic location or jurisdiction, with
  612  priority given to applicants having agreements with the same
  613  franchise for the longest period of time.
  614         6. The length of time that an applicant’s facility has been
  615  used by one or more spring training franchises, with priority
  616  given to applicants whose facilities have been in continuous use
  617  as facilities for spring training the longest.
  618         7. The term remaining on a lease between an applicant and a
  619  spring training franchise for a facility, with priority given to
  620  applicants having the shortest lease terms remaining.
  621         8. The length of time that a spring training franchise
  622  agrees to use an applicant’s facility if an application is
  623  granted under this section, with priority given to applicants
  624  having agreements for the longest future use.
  625         9. The net increase of total active recreation space owned
  626  by the applicant after an acquisition of land for the facility,
  627  with priority given to applicants having the largest percentage
  628  increase of total active recreation space that will be available
  629  for public use.
  630         10. The location of the facility in a brownfield, an
  631  enterprise zone, a community redevelopment area, or other area
  632  of targeted development or revitalization included in an urban
  633  infill redevelopment plan, with priority given to applicants
  634  having facilities located in these areas.
  635         (c) Each applicant certified on or after July 1, 2010,
  636  shall enter into an agreement with the office that:
  637         1. Specifies the amount of the state incentive funding to
  638  be distributed.
  639         2. States the criteria that the certified applicant must
  640  meet in order to remain certified.
  641         3. States that the certified applicant is subject to
  642  decertification if the certified applicant fails to comply with
  643  this section or the agreement.
  644         4. States that the office may recover state incentive funds
  645  if the certified applicant is decertified.
  646         5. Specifies information that the certified applicant must
  647  report to the office.
  648         6. Includes any provision deemed prudent by the office.
  649         (3) USE OF FUNDS.—
  650         (a) A certified applicant may use funds provided under s.
  651  212.20(6)(d)6.b. only to:
  652         1. Serve the public purpose of acquiring, constructing,
  653  reconstructing, or renovating a facility for a spring training
  654  franchise.
  655         2. Pay or pledge for the payment of debt service on, or to
  656  fund debt service reserve funds, arbitrage rebate obligations,
  657  or other amounts payable with respect thereto, bonds issued for
  658  the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, or renovation of
  659  such facility, or for the reimbursement of such costs or the
  660  refinancing of bonds issued for such purposes.
  661         3. Assist in the relocation of a spring training franchise
  662  from one unit of local government to another only if the
  663  governing board of the current host local government by a
  664  majority vote agrees to relcoation.
  665         (b) State funds awarded to a certified applicant for a
  666  facility for a spring training franchise may not be used to
  667  subsidize facilities that are privately owned, maintained, and
  668  used only by a spring training franchise.
  669         (c) The Department of Revenue may not distribute funds to
  670  an applicant certified on or after July 1, 2010, until it
  671  receives notice from the office that the certified applicant has
  672  encumbered funds under subparagraph (a)2.
  673         (d)1. All certified applicants must place unexpended state
  674  funds received pursuant to s. 212.20(6)(d)6.b. in a trust fund
  675  or separate account for use only as authorized in this section.
  676         2. A certified applicant may request that the Department of
  677  Revenue suspend further distributions of state funds made
  678  available under s. 212.20(6)(d)6.b. for 12 months after
  679  expiration of an existing agreement with a spring training
  680  franchise to provide the certified applicant with an opportunity
  681  to enter into a new agreement with a spring training franchise,
  682  at which time the distributions shall resume.
  683         3. The expenditure of state funds distributed to an
  684  applicant certified before July 1, 2010, must begin within 48
  685  months after the initial receipt of the state funds. In
  686  addition, the construction of, or capital improvements to, a
  687  spring training facility must be completed within 24 months
  688  after the project’s commencement.
  689         (4) ANNUAL REPORTS.—On or before September 1 of each year,
  690  a certified applicant shall submit to the office a report that
  691  includes, but is not limited to:
  692         (a) A copy of its most recent annual audit.
  693         (b) A detailed report on all local and state funds expended
  694  to date on the project being financed under this section.
  695         (c) A copy of the contract between the certified local
  696  governmental entity and the spring training team.
  697         (d) A cost-benefit analysis of the team’s impact on the
  698  community.
  699         (e) Evidence that the certified applicant continues to meet
  700  the criteria in effect when the applicant was certified.
  701         (5) DECERTIFICATION.—
  702         (a) The office shall decertify a certified applicant upon
  703  the request of the certified applicant.
  704         (b) The office shall decertify a certified applicant if the
  705  certified applicant does not:
  706         1. Have a valid agreement with a spring training franchise;
  707         2. Satisfy its commitment to provide local matching funds
  708  to the facility; or
  709  
  710  However, decertification proceedings against a local government
  711  certified before July 1, 2010, shall be delayed until 12 months
  712  after the expiration of the local government’s existing
  713  agreement with a spring training franchise, and without a new
  714  agreement being signed, if the certified local government can
  715  demonstrate to the office that it is in active negotiations with
  716  a major league spring training franchise, other than the
  717  franchise that was the basis for the original certification.
  718         (c) A certified applicant has 60 days after it receives a
  719  notice of intent to decertify from the office to petition the
  720  office’s director for review of the decertification. Within 45
  721  days after receipt of the request for review, the director must
  722  notify a certified applicant of the outcome of the review.
  723         (d) The office shall notify the Department of Revenue that
  724  a certified applicant is decertified within 10 days after the
  725  order of decertification becomes final. The Department of
  726  Revenue shall immediately stop the payment of any funds under
  727  this section that were not encumbered by the certified applicant
  728  under subparagraph (3)(a)2.
  729         (e) The office shall order a decertified applicant to repay
  730  all of the unencumbered state funds that the local government
  731  received under this section and any interest that accrued on
  732  those funds. The repayment must be made within 60 days after the
  733  decertification order becomes final. These funds shall be
  734  deposited into the General Revenue Fund.
  735         (f) A local government as defined in s. 218.369 may not be
  736  decertified if it has paid or pledged for the payment of debt
  737  service on, or to fund debt service reserve funds, arbitrage
  738  rebate obligations, or other amounts payable with respect
  739  thereto, bonds issued for the acquisition, construction,
  740  reconstruction, or renovation of the facility for which the
  741  local government was certified, or for the reimbursement of such
  742  costs or the refinancing of bonds issued for the acquisition,
  743  construction, reconstruction, or renovation of the facility for
  744  which the local government was certified, or for the
  745  reimbursement of such costs or the refinancing of bonds issued
  746  for such purpose. This subsection does not preclude or restrict
  747  the ability of a certified local government to refinance,
  748  refund, or defease such bonds.
  749         (6) ADDITIONAL CERTIFICATIONS.—If the office decertifies a
  750  unit of local government, the office may accept applications for
  751  an additional certification. A unit of local government may not
  752  be certified for more than one spring training franchise at any
  753  time.
  754         (7) STRATEGIC PLANNING.—
  755         (a) The office shall request assistance from the Florida
  756  Sports Foundation and the Florida Grapefruit League Association
  757  to develop a comprehensive strategic plan to:
  758         1. Finance spring training facilities.
  759         2. Monitor and oversee the use of state funds awarded to
  760  applicants.
  761         3. Identify the financial impact that spring training has
  762  on the state and ways in which to maintain or improve that
  763  impact.
  764         4. Identify opportunities to develop public-private
  765  partnerships to engage in marketing activities and advertise
  766  spring training baseball.
  767         5. Identify efforts made by other states to maintain or
  768  develop partnerships with baseball spring training teams.
  769         6. Develop recommendations for the Legislature to sustain
  770  or improve this state’s spring training tradition.
  771         (b) The office shall submit a copy of the strategic plan to
  772  the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of
  773  the House of Representatives by December 31, 2010.
  774         (8) RULEMAKING.—The office shall adopt rules to implement
  775  the certification, decertification, and decertification review
  776  processes required by this section.
  777         (9) AUDITS.—The Auditor General may conduct audits as
  778  provided in s. 11.45 to verify that the distributions under this
  779  section are expended as required in this section. If the Auditor
  780  General determines that the distributions under this section are
  781  not expended as required by this section, the Auditor General
  782  shall notify the Department of Revenue, which may pursue
  783  recovery of the funds under the laws and rules governing the
  784  assessment of taxes.
  785         Section 6. Subsection (1) of section 288.1229, Florida
  786  Statutes, is amended to read:
  787         288.1229 Promotion and development of sports-related
  788  industries and amateur athletics; direct-support organization;
  789  powers and duties.—
  790         (1) The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development
  791  may authorize a direct-support organization to assist the office
  792  in:
  793         (a) The promotion and development of the sports industry
  794  and related industries for the purpose of improving the economic
  795  presence of these industries in Florida.
  796         (b) The promotion of amateur athletic participation for the
  797  citizens of Florida and the promotion of Florida as a host for
  798  national and international amateur athletic competitions for the
  799  purpose of encouraging and increasing the direct and ancillary
  800  economic benefits of amateur athletic events and competitions.
  801         (c) The retention of professional sports franchises,
  802  including the spring training operations of Major League
  803  Baseball.
  804         Section 7. An agreement with a spring training franchise
  805  relocating from one local government to another local government
  806  shall be recognized as a valid agreement under this act if the
  807  Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development approved the
  808  continuing release of funds to the local government to which the
  809  franchise relocated before the effective date of this act. The
  810  Legislature recognizes the validity of the agreement and
  811  acknowledges the authority of the Office of Tourism, Trade, and
  812  Economic Development to provide for the continuing release of
  813  funds to the local government under the terms of s. 288.1162,
  814  Florida Statutes, which were in effect before the effective date
  815  of this act.
  816         Section 8. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.

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