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       Florida Senate - 2009                          SENATOR AMENDMENT
       Bill No. HB 7157, 2nd Eng.
       
       
       
       
       
       
                                Barcode 963784                          
       
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              
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                Floor: 1/AD/2R         .         Floor: SENA1/C         
             04/29/2009 02:53 PM       .      05/01/2009 12:43 PM       
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       Senator Altman moved the following:
       
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    2  
    3         Delete everything after the enacting clause
    4  and insert:
    5         Section 1. Section 196.1962, Florida Statutes, is created
    6  to read:
    7         196.1962Exemption of real property dedicated in perpetuity
    8  for conservation purposes.—
    9         (1)As used in this section, the term:
   10         (a)“Allowed commercial uses” means commercial uses that
   11  are allowed by the conservation easement or other conservation
   12  protection agreement encumbering land that is exempt from
   13  taxation under this section.
   14         (b)“Conservation easement” has the same meaning as in s.
   15  704.06.
   16         (c)“Conservation protection agreement” means a deed
   17  restriction, land use agreement, or covenant running with the
   18  land which dedicates the property for conservation purposes.
   19         (d)“Conservation purposes” means:
   20         1.Serving a conservation purpose, as defined in 26 U.S.C.
   21  s. 170(h)(4)(A)(i)-(iii), for land which serves as the basis of
   22  a qualified conservation contribution under 26 U.S.C. s. 170(h);
   23  or
   24         2.a.Retention of the substantial natural value of land,
   25  including woodlands, wetlands, water courses, ponds, streams,
   26  and natural open spaces;
   27         b.Retention of such lands as suitable habitat for fish,
   28  plants, or wildlife; or
   29         c.Retention of such lands’ natural value for water quality
   30  enhancement or water recharge.
   31         (2)Pursuant to s. 3(f), Art. VII of the State
   32  Constitution, land that is dedicated in perpetuity for the
   33  conservation purposes specified in this section is totally or
   34  partially exempt from ad valorem taxation.
   35         (a)Land qualifying for the exemption must be perpetually
   36  encumbered by a valid and enforceable conservation easement or
   37  other conservation protection agreement that:
   38         1.Includes baseline documentation as to the natural values
   39  to be protected on the land and may include a management plan
   40  that details the management of the land so as to effectuate the
   41  conservation of natural resources on the land;
   42         2.Is enforceable by a federal or state agency, county,
   43  municipality, water management district, or nonprofit entity
   44  that is qualified to enforce the provisions of the easement or
   45  other conservation protection agreement;
   46         3.Allows for periodic review by any enforcing entity of
   47  the provisions of the easement or conservation protection
   48  agreement;
   49         4.Provides for the perpetual enforcement of the provisions
   50  of the easement or conservation protection agreement against any
   51  present or future owner of the land; and
   52         5.Provides that the conservation easement or other
   53  conservation protection agreement is perpetual and nonrevocable.
   54         (b)Land that is dedicated in perpetuity for conservation
   55  purposes and that is used exclusively for conservation purposes
   56  is exempt from ad valorem taxation. Such use of the land does
   57  not preclude the generation of income, if such income is
   58  generated incidental to the implementation of a management plan.
   59         (c)Land that is dedicated in perpetuity for conservation
   60  purposes and that is used for allowed commercial uses is exempt
   61  from ad valorem taxation to the extent of 50 percent of the
   62  assessed value of the land.
   63         (3)Land that comprises less than 40 contiguous acres does
   64  not qualify for the exemption provided in this section unless,
   65  in addition to meeting the other requirements of this section,
   66  the use of the land for conservation purposes is determined by
   67  the Acquisition and Restoration Council created in s. 259.035 to
   68  fulfill a clearly delineated state conservation policy and yield
   69  a public benefit. In making its determination of public benefit,
   70  the Acquisition and Restoration Council must give particular
   71  consideration to land that:
   72         (a)Contains a natural sinkhole or natural spring that
   73  serves a water recharge or production function;
   74         (b)Contains a unique geological feature;
   75         (c)Provides habitat for endangered or threatened species;
   76         (d)Provides nursery habitat for marine and estuarine
   77  species;
   78         (e)Provides protection or restoration of vulnerable
   79  coastal resources;
   80         (f)Preserves natural shoreline habitat; or
   81         (g)Provides retention of natural open space in otherwise
   82  densely built-up areas.
   83  
   84  Any land approved by the Acquisition and Restoration Council
   85  under this subsection must have a designated manager who will
   86  maintain or restore natural water features and courses, remove
   87  and prevent reestablishment of nonnative exotic species, remove
   88  diseased vegetation, and use prescribed fire if appropriate for
   89  the location and type of land.
   90         (4)Land that qualifies for the exemption provided in this
   91  section, the allowed commercial uses of which include
   92  agriculture, must comply with the most recent best-management
   93  practices if adopted by rule of the Department of Agriculture
   94  and Consumer Services.
   95         (5)As provided in s. 704.06(8) and (9), water management
   96  districts having jurisdiction over lands receiving the exemption
   97  provided in this section have a third-party right of enforcement
   98  to enforce the terms of the applicable conservation easement or
   99  other conservation protection agreement for any easement or
  100  agreement that is not enforceable by a federal or state agency,
  101  county, or municipality.
  102         (6)Buildings, structures, and other improvements situated
  103  on land receiving the exemption provided in this section and the
  104  land area immediately surrounding the buildings, structures, and
  105  improvements must be assessed separately pursuant to chapter
  106  193.
  107         (7)An owner of land that is exempt from ad valorem
  108  taxation pursuant to this section shall abide by the
  109  requirements of the Florida Marketable Record Title Act, chapter
  110  712, or any other similar law or rule to preserve the effect of
  111  the qualifying conservation easement or other conservation
  112  protection agreement in perpetuity.
  113         (8)The Acquisition and Restoration Council, created in s.
  114  259.035, shall maintain a list of nonprofit entities that are
  115  qualified under subparagraph (2)(a)2. to enforce the provisions
  116  of an easement or other conservation protection agreement.
  117         Section 2. Section 193.501, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  118  read:
  119         193.501 Assessment of lands used for conservation purposes
  120  subject to a conservation easement, environmentally endangered
  121  lands, or lands used for outdoor recreational or park purposes
  122  when land development rights have been conveyed or conservation
  123  restrictions have been covenanted.—
  124         (1)As used in this section and pursuant to s. 4(b), Art.
  125  VII of the State Constitution, the term:
  126         (a)“Lands used for conservation purposes” means:
  127         1.Lands designated as environmentally endangered lands by
  128  a formal resolution of the governing body of the local
  129  government within whose jurisdictional boundaries the land is
  130  located;
  131         2.Lands designated as conservation lands in a local
  132  comprehensive plan adopted by the appropriate local governing
  133  body pursuant to chapter 163;
  134         3.Lands used for outdoor recreational or park purposes if
  135  land development rights have been conveyed;
  136         4.Lands used for the conservation purpose specified in s.
  137  196.1962 when a conservation easement or a conservation
  138  protection agreement has been executed pursuant to s. 704.06; or
  139         5.Lands for which a conservation management plan has been
  140  filed with the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission or a
  141  water management district and for which the activities and
  142  actions are being carried out according the conservation
  143  management plan.
  144         (b)“Board” means the governing board of any municipality
  145  county, or other public agency of the state, or the Board of
  146  Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund.
  147         (c)“Conservation easement” has the same meaning as
  148  provided in s. 704.06(1).
  149         (d)“Conservation protection agreement” has the same
  150  meaning as provided in s. 196.1962.
  151         (e)“Covenant” means a covenant running with the land.
  152         (f)“Deferred tax liability” means an amount equal to the
  153  difference between the total amount of taxes that would have
  154  been due in March in each of the previous years in which the
  155  conveyance or covenant was in effect if the property had been
  156  assessed under the provisions of s. 193.011 and the total amount
  157  of taxes actually paid in those years if the property was
  158  assessed as provided in this section, plus interest on that
  159  difference. The interest accrues at the rate of 1 percent per
  160  month beginning on the 21st day of the month following the month
  161  in which the full amount of tax based on an assessment pursuant
  162  to s. 193.011 would have been due.
  163         (g)“Development right” means the right of the owner of the
  164  fee interest in the land to change the use of the land.
  165         (h)“Outdoor recreational or park purposes” includes, but
  166  is not limited to, boating, golfing, camping, swimming,
  167  horseback riding, and archaeological, scenic, or scientific
  168  sites. The term applies only to activities on land that is open
  169  to the general public.
  170         (i)“Qualified as environmentally endangered” means:
  171         1.Land that has unique ecological characteristics, rare or
  172  limited combinations of geological formations, or features of a
  173  rare or limited nature constituting habitat suitable for fish,
  174  plants, or wildlife, and which, if subject to a development
  175  moratorium or one or more conservation easements or development
  176  restrictions appropriate to retaining such land or water areas
  177  predominantly in their natural state, would be consistent with
  178  the conservation, recreation, and open space and, if applicable,
  179  coastal protection elements of the comprehensive plan adopted by
  180  formal action of the local governing body pursuant to s.
  181  163.3161, the Local Government Comprehensive Planning and Land
  182  Development Regulation Act; or
  183         2.Surface waters and wetlands as determined by the
  184  methodology ratified by s. 373.4211.
  185         (j)“Conservation management plan” means a document filed
  186  with the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission or a water
  187  management district which specifies actions and activities to be
  188  undertaken on an annual basis for a period of at least 10 years
  189  to manage land for the benefit of native wildlife and habitat,
  190  native plant and animal communities, and natural water features;
  191  precludes development; and limits other nonrecreational uses to
  192  those that are essential to the uses of the property for
  193  conservation purposes.
  194         (2)(1) The owner or owners in fee of any land used for
  195  conservation subject to a conservation easement as described in
  196  s. 704.06(1); land qualified as environmentally endangered
  197  pursuant to paragraph (6)(i) and so designated by formal
  198  resolution of the governing board of the municipality or county
  199  within which such land is located; land designated as
  200  conservation land in a comprehensive plan adopted by the
  201  appropriate municipal or county governing body; or any land
  202  which is utilized for outdoor recreational or park purposes may,
  203  by appropriate instrument, for a term of at least not less than
  204  10 years:
  205         (a) Convey the development right of such land to the
  206  governing board of any public agency in this state within which
  207  the land is located, or to the Board of Trustees of the Internal
  208  Improvement Trust Fund, or to a charitable corporation or trust
  209  as described in s. 704.06(4) s. 704.06(3); or
  210         (b) Covenant with the governing board of any public agency
  211  in this state within which the land is located, or with the
  212  Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund, or
  213  with a charitable corporation or trust as described in s.
  214  704.06(4) s. 704.06(3), that such land be subject to one or more
  215  of the prohibitions or limitations conservation restrictions
  216  provided in s. 704.06(1) or that not be used by the owner may
  217  not use the land for any purpose other than outdoor recreational
  218  or park purposes if development rights are conveyed. If land is
  219  covenanted and used for an outdoor recreational purpose, the
  220  normal use and maintenance of the land for that purpose,
  221  consistent with the covenant, shall not be restricted.
  222         (3)(2) The governing board of any public agency in this
  223  state, or the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement
  224  Trust Fund, or a charitable corporation or trust as described in
  225  s. 704.06(4) s. 704.06(3), is authorized and empowered in its
  226  discretion to accept any and all instruments that convey
  227  conveying the development right of any such land or establish
  228  establishing a covenant for a term of at least 10 years.
  229  pursuant to subsection (1), and If accepted by the board or
  230  charitable corporation or trust, the instrument shall be
  231  promptly recorded in the official public records of the county
  232  in which the land is located filed with the appropriate officer
  233  for recording in the same manner as any other instrument
  234  affecting the title to real property.
  235         (4)(3) When, pursuant to subsections (1) and (2), the
  236  development right in real property has been conveyed to the
  237  governing board of any public agency of this state, to the Board
  238  of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund, or to a
  239  charitable corporation or trust as described in s. 704.06(3) s.
  240  704.06(2), or a covenant has been executed and accepted by the
  241  board or charitable corporation or trust, the lands which are
  242  the subject of such conveyance or covenant shall be thereafter
  243  assessed as provided herein:
  244         (a) If the covenant or conveyance extends for a period of
  245  at least not less than 10 years following from January 1 in the
  246  year such assessment is made, the property appraiser, in valuing
  247  such land for tax purposes, shall assess the land solely on the
  248  basis of character or use consider no factors other than those
  249  relative to its value for the present use, as restricted by any
  250  conveyance or covenant under this section.
  251         (b) If the covenant or conveyance extends for a period less
  252  than 10 years, the land shall be assessed under the provisions
  253  of s. 193.011, recognizing the nature and length thereof of any
  254  restriction placed on the use of the land under the provisions
  255  of subsection (1).
  256         (5)If a conservation management plan extends for a period
  257  of at least 10 years following January 1 in the year the plan is
  258  filed with the appropriate agency, if the plan limits other
  259  nonrecreational uses to those essential to uses of the land for
  260  conservation purposes, and if the landowner has provided a
  261  current copy of the conservation management plan to the property
  262  appraiser along with a signed statement of the landowner’s good
  263  faith intention to use the land only for conservation purposes
  264  before March 1 of the same year, the property appraiser shall
  265  assess the land solely on the basis of character or use.
  266         (a)Plans required by this subsection must be filed with
  267  the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission if the primary
  268  conservation use is restoration or protection of native wildlife
  269  habitat or native plant and animal communities.
  270         (b)Plans required by this subsection must be filed with
  271  the water management district within the boundaries of which the
  272  land is located if the primary conservation use is restoration
  273  or protection of natural water features.
  274         (c)The commission and the Department of Environmental
  275  Protection shall produce a guidance document establishing the
  276  form and content of a conservation management plan and
  277  establishing minimum standards for such plans regarding
  278  restoration and protection of wildlife habitats, plant and
  279  animal communities, and natural water features; control of
  280  exotic species; use of prescribed fire; removal of diseased and
  281  damaged vegetation; and other activities as may be necessary to
  282  manage conservation land for the benefit of wildlife, plant and
  283  animal communities, and water resources.
  284         (d)The property appraiser may require a signed application
  285  that includes a statement of the landowner’s good faith
  286  intention to use the land only for conservation purposes as
  287  described in this section, to keep such uses for a period of 10
  288  years after the date of the application, and, upon failure to
  289  carry out the conservation management plan, to pay the
  290  difference between the total amount of taxes assessed and the
  291  total amount that would have been due in March of the current
  292  year and each of the previous 10 years if the land had not been
  293  assessed solely on the basis of character or use as provided in
  294  this section.
  295         (6)A person or organization that, on January 1, has the
  296  legal title to land that is entitled by law to assessment under
  297  this section must, on or before March 1 of each year, file an
  298  application for assessment under this section with the county
  299  property appraiser. The application must identify the property
  300  for which assessment under this section is claimed. The initial
  301  application for assessment for any property must include a copy
  302  of the instrument by which the development right is conveyed or
  303  which establishes a covenant or the conservation protection
  304  agreement or conservation management plan that establishes the
  305  conservation purposes for which the land is used. The Department
  306  of Revenue shall prescribe the forms upon which the application
  307  is made. The failure to file an application on or before March 1
  308  of any year constitutes a waiver of assessment under this
  309  section for that year. However, an applicant who is qualified to
  310  receive an assessment under this section, but fails to file an
  311  application by March 1, may file an application for the
  312  assessment and may file, pursuant to s. 194.011(3), a petition
  313  with the value adjustment board requesting that the assessment
  314  be granted. The petition must be filed at any time during the
  315  taxable year on or before the 25th day following the mailing of
  316  the notice by the property appraiser pursuant to s. 194.011(1).
  317  Notwithstanding s. 194.013, the applicant must pay a
  318  nonrefundable fee of $15 upon filing the petition. Upon
  319  reviewing the petition, if the person is qualified to receive
  320  the assessment and demonstrates particular extenuating
  321  circumstances judged by the property appraiser or the value
  322  adjustment board to warrant granting the assessment, the
  323  property appraiser or the value adjustment board may grant the
  324  assessment. The owner of land that was assessed under this
  325  section in the previous year and whose ownership or use has not
  326  changed may reapply on a short form as provided by the
  327  department. A county may, at the request of the property
  328  appraiser and by a majority vote of its governing body, waive
  329  the requirement that an annual application or statement be made
  330  for assessment of property within the county. Such waiver may be
  331  revoked by a majority vote of the governing body of the county.
  332         (7)(4) After conveying making a conveyance of the
  333  development right or executing a covenant or conservation
  334  protection agreement pursuant to this section, or conveying a
  335  conservation easement pursuant to this section and s. 704.06,
  336  the owner of the land shall not use the land in any manner not
  337  consistent with the development right voluntarily conveyed, or
  338  with the restrictions voluntarily imposed, or with the terms of
  339  the conservation easement or conservation protection agreement,
  340  or shall not change the use of the land from outdoor
  341  recreational or park purposes during the term of such conveyance
  342  or covenant without first obtaining a written instrument from
  343  the board or charitable corporation or trust, which must
  344  reconvey to the owner instrument reconveys all or part of the
  345  development right to the owner or which must release releases
  346  the owner from the terms of the covenant. The written instrument
  347  must be recorded in the official records of the county in which
  348  the property subject to the reconveyance or release is located
  349  and which instrument must be promptly recorded in the same
  350  manner as any other instrument affecting the title to real
  351  property. Upon obtaining approval for reconveyance or release
  352  from the board or the charitable organization or trust, the
  353  reconveyance or release shall be made to the owner upon payment
  354  of the deferred tax liability. Any payment of the deferred tax
  355  liability shall be payable to the county tax collector within 90
  356  days after of the date of approval for reconveyance or release
  357  by the board or charitable corporation or trust of the
  358  reconveyance or release. The collector shall distribute the
  359  payment to each governmental unit in the proportion that its
  360  millage bears to the total millage levied on the parcel for the
  361  years in which such conveyance or covenant was in effect.
  362         (8)(5) The governing board of any public agency in this
  363  state or the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust
  364  Fund or a charitable corporation or trust which holds title to a
  365  development right pursuant to this section may not convey that
  366  development right to anyone other than the governing board of
  367  another public agency in this state or a charitable corporation
  368  or trust, as described in s. 704.06(4) s. 704.06(3), or the
  369  record owner of the fee interest in the land to which the
  370  development right attaches. The conveyance from the governing
  371  board of a public agency or the Board of Trustees of the
  372  Internal Improvement Trust Fund to the owner of the fee shall be
  373  made only after a determination by the board that such
  374  conveyance would not adversely affect the interest of the
  375  public. Section 125.35 does not apply to such sales, but any
  376  public agency accepting any instrument conveying a development
  377  right pursuant to this section shall forthwith adopt appropriate
  378  regulations and procedures governing the disposition of same.
  379  These regulations and procedures must provide in part that the
  380  board may not convey a development right to the owner of the fee
  381  without first holding a public hearing and unless notice of the
  382  proposed conveyance and the time and place at which the public
  383  hearing is to be held is published once a week for at least 2
  384  weeks in some newspaper of general circulation in the county in
  385  which the property is located before involved prior to the
  386  hearing.
  387         (6)The following terms whenever used as referred to in
  388  this section have the following meanings unless a different
  389  meaning is clearly indicated by the context:
  390         (a)“Board” is the governing board of any city, county, or
  391  other public agency of the state or the Board of Trustees of the
  392  Internal Improvement Trust Fund.
  393         (b)“Conservation restriction” means a limitation on a
  394  right to the use of land for purposes of conserving or
  395  preserving land or water areas predominantly in their natural,
  396  scenic, open, agricultural, or wooded condition. The limitation
  397  on rights to the use of land may involve or pertain to any of
  398  the activities enumerated in s. 704.06(1).
  399         (c)“Conservation easement” means that property right
  400  described in s. 704.06.
  401         (d)“Covenant” is a covenant running with the land.
  402         (e)“Deferred tax liability” means an amount equal to the
  403  difference between the total amount of taxes that would have
  404  been due in March in each of the previous years in which the
  405  conveyance or covenant was in effect if the property had been
  406  assessed under the provisions of s. 193.011 and the total amount
  407  of taxes actually paid in those years when the property was
  408  assessed under the provisions of this section, plus interest on
  409  that difference computed as provided in s. 212.12(3).
  410         (f)“Development right” is the right of the owner of the
  411  fee interest in the land to change the use of the land.
  412         (g)“Outdoor recreational or park purposes” includes, but
  413  is not necessarily limited to, boating, golfing, camping,
  414  swimming, horseback riding, and archaeological, scenic, or
  415  scientific sites and applies only to land which is open to the
  416  general public.
  417         (h)“Present use” is the manner in which the land is
  418  utilized on January 1 of the year in which the assessment is
  419  made.
  420         (i)“Qualified as environmentally endangered” means land
  421  that has unique ecological characteristics, rare or limited
  422  combinations of geological formations, or features of a rare or
  423  limited nature constituting habitat suitable for fish, plants,
  424  or wildlife, and which, if subject to a development moratorium
  425  or one or more conservation easements or development
  426  restrictions appropriate to retaining such land or water areas
  427  predominantly in their natural state, would be consistent with
  428  the conservation, recreation and open space, and, if applicable,
  429  coastal protection elements of the comprehensive plan adopted by
  430  formal action of the local governing body pursuant to s.
  431  163.3161, the Local Government Comprehensive Planning and Land
  432  Development Regulation Act; or surface waters and wetlands, as
  433  determined by the methodology ratified in s. 373.4211.
  434         (9)A person or entity that owns land assessed pursuant to
  435  this section must notify the property appraiser promptly if the
  436  land becomes ineligible for assessment under this section. If
  437  any property owner fails to so notify the property appraiser and
  438  the property appraiser determines that for any year within the
  439  preceding 10 years the land was not eligible for assessment
  440  under this section, the owner of the land is subject to taxes
  441  avoided as a result of such failure plus 15 percent interest per
  442  annum and a penalty of 50 percent of the taxes avoided. The
  443  property appraiser making such determination has a duty to
  444  record in the public records of the county a notice of tax lien
  445  against any property owned by that person or entity in the
  446  county, and such property must be identified in the notice of
  447  tax lien. The property is subject to a lien in the amount of the
  448  unpaid taxes and penalties. The lien when filed shall attach to
  449  any property identified in the notice of tax lien which is owned
  450  by the person or entity and which was improperly assessed. If
  451  such person or entity no longer owns property in that county,
  452  but owns property in some other county or counties of this
  453  state, the property appraiser has a duty to record a notice of
  454  tax lien in such other county or counties, identifying the
  455  property owned by such person or entity.
  456         (10)(7)(a) The property appraiser shall report to the
  457  department showing the just value and the classified use value
  458  of lands used for property that is subject to a conservation
  459  purposes pursuant to this section easement under s. 704.06,
  460  property assessed as environmentally endangered land pursuant to
  461  this section, and property assessed as outdoor recreational or
  462  park land.
  463         (b) The tax collector shall annually report to the
  464  department the amount of deferred tax liability collected
  465  pursuant to this section.
  466         Section 3. Subsection (1) of section 195.073, Florida
  467  Statutes, is amended to read:
  468         195.073 Classification of property.—All items required by
  469  law to be on the assessment rolls must receive a classification
  470  based upon the use of the property. The department shall
  471  promulgate uniform definitions for all classifications. The
  472  department may designate other subclassifications of property.
  473  No assessment roll may be approved by the department which does
  474  not show proper classifications.
  475         (1) Real property must be classified according to the
  476  assessment basis of the land into the following classes:
  477         (a) Residential, subclassified into categories, one
  478  category for homestead property and one for nonhomestead
  479  property:
  480         1. Single family.
  481         2. Mobile homes.
  482         3. Multifamily.
  483         4. Condominiums.
  484         5. Cooperatives.
  485         6. Retirement homes.
  486         (b) Commercial and industrial.
  487         (c) Agricultural.
  488         (d) Nonagricultural acreage.
  489         (e) High-water recharge.
  490         (f) Historic property used for commercial or certain
  491  nonprofit purposes.
  492         (g) Exempt, wholly or partially.
  493         (h) Centrally assessed.
  494         (i) Leasehold interests.
  495         (j) Time-share property.
  496         (k)Land used for conservation purposes under s. 193.501.
  497         (l)(k) Other.
  498         Section 4. Paragraph (b) of subsection (1) and subsections
  499  (6) and (9) of section 196.011, Florida Statutes, are amended to
  500  read:
  501         196.011 Annual application required for exemption.—
  502         (1)
  503         (b) The form to apply for an exemption under s. 196.031, s.
  504  196.081, s. 196.091, s. 196.101, 196.1962, or s. 196.202 s.
  505  196.031, s. 196.081, s. 196.091, s. 196.101, or s. 196.202 must
  506  include a space for the applicant to list the social security
  507  number of the applicant and of the applicant’s spouse, if any.
  508  If an applicant files a timely and otherwise complete
  509  application, and omits the required social security numbers, the
  510  application is incomplete. In that event, the property appraiser
  511  shall contact the applicant, who may refile a complete
  512  application by April 1. Failure to file a complete application
  513  by that date constitutes a waiver of the exemption privilege for
  514  that year, except as provided in subsection (7) or subsection
  515  (8).
  516         (6)(a) Once an original application for tax exemption has
  517  been granted, in each succeeding year on or before February 1,
  518  the property appraiser shall mail a renewal application to the
  519  applicant, and the property appraiser shall accept from each
  520  such applicant a renewal application on a form to be prescribed
  521  by the Department of Revenue. Such renewal application shall be
  522  accepted as evidence of exemption by the property appraiser
  523  unless he or she denies the application. Upon denial, the
  524  property appraiser shall serve, on or before July 1 of each
  525  year, a notice setting forth the grounds for denial on the
  526  applicant by first-class mail. Any applicant objecting to such
  527  denial may file a petition as provided for in s. 194.011(3).
  528         (b)Once an original application for the tax exemption has
  529  been granted under s. 196.1962, in each succeeding year on or
  530  before February 1, the property appraiser shall mail a renewal
  531  application to the applicant on a form prescribed by the
  532  Department of Revenue. The applicant must certify on the form
  533  that the use of the property complies with the restrictions and
  534  requirements of the conservation easement. The form shall
  535  include a statement that the exemption granted under s. 196.1962
  536  will not be renewed unless application is returned to the
  537  property appraiser.
  538         (9)(a) A county may, at the request of the property
  539  appraiser and by a majority vote of its governing body, waive
  540  the requirement that an annual application or statement be made
  541  for exemption of property within the county after an initial
  542  application is made and the exemption granted. The waiver under
  543  this subsection of the annual application or statement
  544  requirement applies to all exemptions under this chapter except
  545  the exemption under s. 196.1995. Notwithstanding such waiver,
  546  refiling of an application or statement shall be required when
  547  any property granted an exemption is sold or otherwise disposed
  548  of, when the ownership changes in any manner, when the applicant
  549  for homestead exemption ceases to use the property as his or her
  550  homestead, or when the status of the owner changes so as to
  551  change the exempt status of the property. In its deliberations
  552  on whether to waive the annual application or statement
  553  requirement, the governing body shall consider the possibility
  554  of fraudulent exemption claims which may occur due to the waiver
  555  of the annual application requirement. It is The duty of the
  556  owner of any property granted an exemption who is not required
  557  to file an annual application or statement has a duty to notify
  558  the property appraiser promptly whenever the use of the property
  559  or the status or condition of the owner changes so as to change
  560  the exempt status of the property. If any property owner fails
  561  to so notify the property appraiser and the property appraiser
  562  determines that for any year within the prior 10 years the owner
  563  was not entitled to receive such exemption, the owner of the
  564  property is subject to the taxes exempted as a result of such
  565  failure plus 15 percent interest per annum and a penalty of 50
  566  percent of the taxes exempted. Except for homestead exemptions
  567  controlled by s. 196.161, it is the duty of the property
  568  appraiser making such determination has a duty to record in the
  569  public records of the county a notice of tax lien against any
  570  property owned by that person or entity in the county, and such
  571  property must be identified in the notice of tax lien. Such
  572  property is subject to the payment of all taxes and penalties.
  573  Such lien when filed shall attach to any property, identified in
  574  the notice of tax lien, owned by the person who illegally or
  575  improperly received the exemption. Should such person no longer
  576  own property in that county, but own property in some other
  577  county or counties in the state, it shall be the duty of the
  578  property appraiser has a duty to record a notice of tax lien in
  579  such other county or counties, identifying the property owned by
  580  such person or entity in such county or counties, and it shall
  581  become a lien against such property in such county or counties.
  582         (b)The owner of any land granted an exemption under s.
  583  196.1962 has a duty to notify the property appraiser promptly
  584  whenever the use of the land no longer complies with the
  585  restrictions and requirements of the conservation easement. If
  586  the property owner fails to so notify the property appraiser and
  587  the property appraiser determines that for any year within the
  588  preceding 10 years the owner was not entitled to receive the
  589  exemption, the owner of the land is subject to taxes exempted as
  590  a result of the failure plus 18 percent interest per annum and a
  591  penalty of 100 percent of the taxes exempted. The provisions for
  592  tax liens in paragraph (a) apply to land granted an exemption
  593  under s. 196.1962.
  594         (c)(b) A county may, at the request of the property
  595  appraiser and by a majority vote of its governing body, waive
  596  the requirement that an annual application be made for the
  597  veteran’s disability discount granted pursuant to s. 6(g), Art.
  598  VII of the State Constitution after an initial application is
  599  made and the discount granted. It is the duty of The disabled
  600  veteran receiving a discount for which annual application has
  601  been waived has a duty to notify the property appraiser promptly
  602  whenever the use of the property or the percentage of disability
  603  to which the veteran is entitled changes. If a disabled veteran
  604  fails to notify the property appraiser and the property
  605  appraiser determines that for any year within the prior 10 years
  606  the veteran was not entitled to receive all or a portion of such
  607  discount, the penalties and processes in paragraph (a) relating
  608  to the failure to notify the property appraiser of ineligibility
  609  for an exemption shall apply.
  610         (d)(c) For any exemption under s. 196.101(2), the statement
  611  concerning gross income must be filed with the property
  612  appraiser not later than March 1 of every year.
  613         (e)(d) If an exemption for which the annual application is
  614  waived pursuant to this subsection will be denied by the
  615  property appraiser in the absence of the refiling of the
  616  application, notification of an intent to deny the exemption
  617  shall be mailed to the owner of the property prior to February
  618  1. If the property appraiser fails to timely mail such notice,
  619  the application deadline for such property owner pursuant to
  620  subsection (1) shall be extended to 28 days after the date on
  621  which the property appraiser mails such notice.
  622         Section 5. Section 218.125, Florida Statutes, is created to
  623  read:
  624         218.125Offset for tax loss associated with certain
  625  constitutional amendments affecting fiscally constrained
  626  counties.—
  627         (1)Beginning in the 2010-2011 fiscal year, the Legislature
  628  shall appropriate moneys to offset the reductions in ad valorem
  629  tax revenue experienced by fiscally constrained counties, as
  630  defined in s. 218.67(1), which occur as a direct result of the
  631  implementation of revisions of ss. 3(f) and 4(b) of Art. VII of
  632  the State Constitution which were approved in the general
  633  election held in November 2008. The moneys appropriated for this
  634  purpose shall be distributed in January of each fiscal year
  635  among the fiscally constrained counties based on each county’s
  636  proportion of the total reduction in ad valorem tax revenue
  637  resulting from the implementation of the revisions.
  638         (2)On or before November 15 of each year, beginning in
  639  2010, each fiscally constrained county shall apply to the
  640  Department of Revenue to participate in the distribution of the
  641  appropriation and provide documentation supporting the county’s
  642  estimated reduction in ad valorem tax revenue in the form and
  643  manner prescribed by the Department of Revenue. The
  644  documentation must include an estimate of the reduction in
  645  taxable value directly attributable to revisions of Art. VII of
  646  the State Constitution for all county taxing jurisdictions
  647  within the county and shall be prepared by the property
  648  appraiser in each fiscally constrained county. The documentation
  649  must also include the county millage rates applicable in all
  650  such jurisdictions for the current year and the prior year,
  651  roll-back rates determined as provided in s. 200.065 for each
  652  county taxing jurisdiction, and maximum millage rates that could
  653  have been levied by majority vote pursuant to s. 200.185. For
  654  purposes of this section, each fiscally constrained county’s
  655  reduction in ad valorem tax revenue shall be calculated as 95
  656  percent of the estimated reduction in taxable value times the
  657  lesser of the 2009 applicable millage rate or the applicable
  658  millage rate for each county taxing jurisdiction in the prior
  659  year.
  660         Section 6. Section 704.06, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  661  read:
  662         704.06 Conservation easements and conservation protection
  663  agreements; creation; acquisition; enforcement.—
  664         (1) As used in this section, “conservation easement” means
  665  a transferrable right or interest in real property which may be
  666  perpetual or limited to a certain term, and which is appropriate
  667  to retaining land or water areas predominantly in their natural,
  668  scenic, open, agricultural, or wooded condition; retaining such
  669  areas as suitable habitat for fish, plants, or wildlife;
  670  retaining the structural integrity or physical appearance of
  671  sites or properties of historical, architectural,
  672  archaeological, or cultural significance; or maintaining
  673  existing land uses and which prohibits or limits any or all of
  674  the following:
  675         (a) Construction or placing of buildings, roads, signs,
  676  billboards or other advertising, utilities, or other structures
  677  on or above the ground.
  678         (b) Dumping or placing of soil or other substance or
  679  material as landfill or dumping or placing of trash, waste, or
  680  unsightly or offensive materials.
  681         (c) Removal or destruction of trees, shrubs, or other
  682  vegetation.
  683         (d) Excavation, dredging, or removal of loam, peat, gravel,
  684  soil, rock, or other material substance in such manner as to
  685  affect the surface.
  686         (e) Surface use except for purposes that permit the land or
  687  water area to remain predominantly in its natural condition.
  688         (f) Activities detrimental to drainage, flood control,
  689  water conservation, erosion control, soil conservation, or fish
  690  and wildlife habitat preservation.
  691         (g) Acts or uses detrimental to such retention of land or
  692  water areas.
  693         (h) Acts or uses detrimental to the preservation of the
  694  structural integrity or physical appearance of sites or
  695  properties of historical, architectural, archaeological, or
  696  cultural significance.
  697         (2)“Conservation protection agreement” has the same
  698  meaning as provided in s. 196.1962.
  699         (3)(2) Conservation easements and conservation protection
  700  agreements are perpetual, undivided interests in property and
  701  may be created or stated in the form of an a restriction,
  702  easement, covenant, or condition in any deed, will, or other
  703  instrument executed by or on behalf of the owner of the
  704  property, or in any order of taking. Such easements or
  705  agreements may be acquired in the same manner as other interests
  706  in property are acquired, except by condemnation or by other
  707  exercise of the power of eminent domain, and shall not be
  708  unassignable to other governmental bodies or agencies,
  709  charitable organizations, or trusts authorized to acquire such
  710  easements, for lack of benefit to a dominant estate.
  711         (4)(3) Conservation easements and conservation protection
  712  agreements may be acquired by any governmental body or agency or
  713  by a charitable corporation or trust whose purposes include
  714  protecting natural, scenic, or open space values of real
  715  property, assuring its availability for agricultural, forest,
  716  recreational, or open space use, protecting natural resources,
  717  maintaining or enhancing air or water quality, or preserving
  718  sites or properties of historical, architectural,
  719  archaeological, or cultural significance.
  720         (5)(4) Conservation easements and conservation protection
  721  agreements shall run with the land and be binding on all
  722  subsequent owners of the servient estate. Notwithstanding the
  723  provisions of s. 197.552, all provisions of a conservation
  724  easement or a conservation protection agreement shall survive
  725  and are enforceable after the issuance of a tax deed. No
  726  conservation easement shall be unenforceable on account of lack
  727  of privity of contract or lack of benefit to particular land or
  728  on account of the benefit being assignable. Conservation
  729  easements and conservation protection agreements may be enforced
  730  by injunction or proceeding in equity or at law, and shall
  731  entitle the holder to enter the land in a reasonable manner and
  732  at reasonable times to assure compliance. A conservation
  733  easement or a conservation protection agreement may be released
  734  by the holder of the easement or the agreement to the holder of
  735  the fee even though the holder of the fee may not be a
  736  governmental body or a charitable corporation or trust.
  737         (6)(5) All conservation easements and conservation
  738  protection agreements shall be recorded in the official records
  739  of the county in which the property subject to the easement or
  740  agreement is located and indexed in the same manner as any other
  741  instrument affecting the title to real property.
  742         (7)(6) The provisions of this section shall not be
  743  construed to imply that any restriction, easement, agreement,
  744  covenant, or condition which does not have the benefit of this
  745  section shall, on account of any provision hereof, be
  746  unenforceable.
  747         (8)(7) Recording of the conservation easement or
  748  conservation protection agreement shall be notice to the
  749  property appraiser and tax collector of the county of the
  750  conveyance of the conservation easement or conservation
  751  protection agreement.
  752         (9)(8) Conservation easements and conservation protection
  753  agreements may provide for a third-party right of enforcement.
  754  As used in this section, third-party right of enforcement means
  755  a right provided in a conservation easement or conservation
  756  protection agreement to enforce any of its terms granted to a
  757  governmental body, or charitable corporation or trust as
  758  described in subsection (4) (3), which although eligible to be a
  759  holder, is not a holder.
  760         (10)(9) An action affecting a conservation easement or a
  761  conservation protection agreement may be brought by:
  762         (a) An owner of an interest in the real property burdened
  763  by the easement or agreement;
  764         (b) A holder of the easement or agreement;
  765         (c) A person having a third-party right of enforcement; or
  766         (d) A person authorized by another law.
  767         (11)(10) The ownership or attempted enforcement of rights
  768  held by the holder of an easement or agreement does not subject
  769  the holder to any liability for any damage or injury that may be
  770  suffered by any person on the property or as a result of the
  771  condition of the property encumbered by a conservation easement
  772  or a conservation protection agreement.
  773         (12)(11)Nothing in This section or other provisions of law
  774  do not shall be construed to prohibit or limit the owner of
  775  land, or the owner of a conservation easement or conservation
  776  protection agreement over land, to voluntarily negotiate the
  777  sale or utilization of such lands or easement or agreement for
  778  the construction and operation of linear facilities, including
  779  electric transmission and distribution facilities,
  780  telecommunications transmission and distribution facilities,
  781  pipeline transmission and distribution facilities, public
  782  transportation corridors, and related appurtenances, nor shall
  783  this section prohibit the use of eminent domain for said
  784  purposes as established by law. In any legal proceeding to
  785  condemn land for the purpose of construction and operation of a
  786  linear facility as described above, the court shall consider the
  787  public benefit provided by the conservation easement or the
  788  conservation protection agreement and linear facilities in
  789  determining which lands may be taken and the compensation paid.
  790         Section 7. The Department of Revenue may adopt emergency
  791  rules to administer s. 196.1962, Florida Statutes. The emergency
  792  rules shall remain in effect for 6 months after adoption and may
  793  be renewed during the pendency of procedures to adopt rules
  794  addressing the subject of the emergency rules.
  795         Section 8. This act shall take effect July 1, 2009, and
  796  applies to property tax assessments made on or after January 1,
  797  2010.
  798  
  799  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
  800         And the title is amended as follows:
  801         Delete everything before the enacting clause
  802  and insert:
  803                        A bill to be entitled                      
  804         An act relating to land used for conservation
  805         purposes; creating s. 196.1962, F.S.; defining terms;
  806         providing a total or partial ad valorem tax exemption
  807         for land used for conservation purposes; requiring
  808         that such land be perpetually encumbered by a
  809         conservation easement or conservation protection
  810         agreement; providing a partial ad valorem tax
  811         exemption for conservation land that is used for
  812         commercial purposes; permitting land smaller than a
  813         certain size to qualify for the exemption upon
  814         approval by the Acquisition and Restoration Council;
  815         requiring the Acquisition and Restoration Council to
  816         consider whether the property will yield a significant
  817         public benefit; requiring land that qualifies for the
  818         exemption from ad valorem taxation and used for
  819         agricultural purposes be managed pursuant to certain
  820         best-management practices; providing that water
  821         management districts have a third-party right of
  822         enforcement to enforce certain conservation easements
  823         or conservation protection agreements; providing for
  824         the assessment of certain buildings, structures,
  825         improvements, and land; requiring an owner of land
  826         that is exempt from ad valorem taxation to take
  827         actions to preserve the perpetual effect of the
  828         conservation easement or other instrument; requiring
  829         the Acquisition and Restoration Council to maintain a
  830         list of nonprofit entities that are qualified to
  831         enforce the provisions of a conservation easement or
  832         conservation protection agreement; amending s.
  833         193.501, F.S.; defining terms; providing for the
  834         assessment of lands used for conservation purposes;
  835         requiring that such lands be used for conservation
  836         purposes for at least 10 years; requiring a covenant
  837         or conservation protection agreement to be recorded in
  838         the official records; providing for the assessment of
  839         such land based on character or use; requiring the
  840         owner of the land to annually apply to the property
  841         appraiser by a certain date for the assessment based
  842         on character or use; authorizing the value adjustment
  843         board to grant late applications for such assessments
  844         if extenuating circumstances are shown; providing for
  845         the assessment of land if a conservation management
  846         plan extends for a specified period and the landowner
  847         has provided certain documentation to the property
  848         appraiser; requiring the filing of such plans with the
  849         Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission or a water
  850         management district under certain circumstances;
  851         requiring that the commission and the Department of
  852         Environmental Protection produce a guidance document
  853         establishing the form and content of a conservation
  854         management plan and establishing certain minimum
  855         standards for such plans; authorizing a property
  856         appraiser to require a signed application that
  857         includes certain statements by a landowner; requiring
  858         a landowner to notify the property appraiser if the
  859         land becomes ineligible for the assessment benefit;
  860         imposing penalties for nonpayment of ad valorem taxes
  861         after a loss of eligibility for the assessment
  862         benefit; directing the property appraiser to record a
  863         notice of tax lien; requiring property appraisers to
  864         issue a report relating to the just value and
  865         classified use value of land used for conservation
  866         purposes; amending s. 195.073, F.S.; providing for the
  867         classification of lands used for conservation purposes
  868         for the purposes of ad valorem taxation; amending s.
  869         196.011, F.S.; conforming a cross-reference; requiring
  870         an annual application for the exemption for land used
  871         for conservation purposes; requiring that a property
  872         owner notify the property appraiser when the use of
  873         the property no longer complies with the requirements
  874         for a conservation easement; providing penalties for
  875         failure to notify; creating s. 218.125, F.S.;
  876         requiring the Legislature to appropriate moneys to
  877         offset the reductions in ad valorem tax revenue
  878         experienced by fiscally constrained counties;
  879         requiring each fiscally constrained county to apply to
  880         the Department of Revenue to participate in the
  881         distribution of the appropriation; specifying the
  882         documentation that must be provided to the department;
  883         providing a formula for calculating the reduction in
  884         ad valorem tax revenue; amending s. 704.06, F.S.;
  885         revising requirements for conservation easements and
  886         conservation protection agreements; authorizing the
  887         Department of Revenue to adopt emergency rules;
  888         providing for application of the act; providing an
  889         effective date.

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