Section 288.107, Florida Statutes 2003
288.107 Brownfield redevelopment bonus refunds.--
(1) DEFINITIONS.--As used in this section:
(a) "Account" means the Economic Development Incentives Account as authorized in s. 288.095.
(b) "Brownfield sites" means sites that are generally abandoned, idled, or underused industrial and commercial properties where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by actual or perceived environmental contamination.
(c) "Brownfield area" means a contiguous area of one or more brownfield sites, some of which may not be contaminated, and which has been designated by a local government by resolution. Such areas may include all or portions of community redevelopment areas, enterprise zones, empowerment zones, other such designated economically deprived communities and areas, and Environmental-Protection-Agency-designated brownfield pilot projects.
(d) "Director" means the director of the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development.
(e) "Eligible business" means:
1. A qualified target industry business as defined in s. 288.106(1)(o); or
2. A business that can demonstrate a fixed capital investment of at least $2 million in mixed-use business activities, including multiunit housing, commercial, retail, and industrial in brownfield areas and which provides benefits to its employees.
(f) "Jobs" means full-time equivalent positions, as that term is consistent with terms used by the Agency for Workforce Innovation for the purpose of unemployment compensation tax, resulting directly from a project in this state. The term does not include temporary construction jobs involved with the construction of facilities for the project and which are not associated with the implementation of the site rehabilitation as provided in s. 376.80.
(g) "Office" means the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development.
(h) "Project" means the creation of a new business or the expansion of an existing business as defined in s. 288.106.
(2) BROWNFIELD REDEVELOPMENT BONUS REFUND.--Bonus refunds shall be approved by the office as specified in the final order issued by the director and allowed from the account as follows:
(a) A bonus refund of $2,500 shall be allowed to any qualified target industry business as defined by s. 288.106 for each new Florida job created in a brownfield area which is claimed on the qualified target industry business's annual refund claim authorized in s. 288.106(5).
(b) A bonus refund of up to $2,500 shall be allowed to any other eligible business as defined in subparagraph (1)(e)2. for each new Florida job created in a brownfield which is claimed under an annual claim procedure similar to the annual refund claim authorized in s. 288.106(5). The amount of the refund shall be equal to 20 percent of the average annual wage for the jobs created.
(3) CRITERIA.--The minimum criteria for participation in the brownfield redevelopment bonus refund are:
(a) The creation of at least 10 new full-time permanent jobs. Such jobs shall not include construction or site rehabilitation jobs associated with the implementation of a brownfield site agreement as described in s. 376.80(5).
(b) The completion of a fixed capital investment of at least $2 million in mixed-use business activities, including multiunit housing, commercial, retail, and industrial in brownfield areas, by an eligible business applying for a refund under paragraph (2)(b) which provides benefits to its employees.
(c) That the designation as a brownfield will diversify and strengthen the economy of the area surrounding the site.
(d) That the designation as a brownfield will promote capital investment in the area beyond that contemplated for the rehabilitation of the site.
(4) PAYMENT OF BROWNFIELD REDEVELOPMENT BONUS REFUNDS.--
(a) To be eligible to receive a bonus refund for new Florida jobs created in a brownfield, a business must have been certified as a qualified target industry business under s. 288.106 or eligible business as defined in paragraph (1)(e) and must have indicated on the qualified target industry tax refund application form submitted in accordance with s. 288.106(3) or other similar agreement for other eligible business as defined in paragraph (1)(e) that the project for which the application is submitted is or will be located in a brownfield and that the business is applying for certification as a qualified brownfield business under this section, and must have signed a qualified target industry tax refund agreement with the office which indicates that the business has been certified as a qualified target industry business located in a brownfield and specifies the schedule of brownfield redevelopment bonus refunds that the business may be eligible to receive in each fiscal year.
(b) To be considered to receive an eligible brownfield redevelopment bonus refund payment, the business meeting the requirements of paragraph (a) must submit a claim once each fiscal year on a claim form approved by the office which indicates the location of the brownfield, the address of the business facility's brownfield location, the name of the brownfield in which it is located, the number of jobs created, and the average wage of the jobs created by the business within the brownfield as defined in s. 288.106 or other eligible business as defined in paragraph (1)(e) and the administrative rules and policies for that section.
(c) The bonus refunds shall be available on the same schedule as the qualified target industry tax refund payments scheduled in the qualified target industry tax refund agreement authorized in s. 288.106 or other similar agreement for other eligible businesses as defined in paragraph (1)(e).
(d) After entering into a tax refund agreement as provided in s. 288.106 or other similar agreement for other eligible businesses as defined in paragraph (1)(e), an eligible business may receive brownfield redevelopment bonus refunds from the account pursuant to s. 288.106(2)(c).
(e) An eligible business that fraudulently claims a refund under this section:
1. Is liable for repayment of the amount of the refund to the account, plus a mandatory penalty in the amount of 200 percent of the tax refund, which shall be deposited into the General Revenue Fund.
2. Commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(f) The office shall review all applications submitted under s. 288.106 or other similar application forms for other eligible businesses as defined in paragraph (1)(e) which indicate that the proposed project will be located in a brownfield and determine, with the assistance of the Department of Environmental Protection, that the project location is within a brownfield as provided in this act.
(g) The office shall approve all claims for a brownfield redevelopment bonus refund payment that are found to meet the requirements of paragraphs (b) and (d).
(h) The director, with such assistance as may be required from the office and the Department of Environmental Protection, shall specify by written final order the amount of the brownfield redevelopment bonus refund that is authorized for the qualified target industry business for the fiscal year within 30 days after the date that the claim for the annual tax refund is received by the office.
(i) The total amount of the bonus refunds approved by the director under this section in any fiscal year must not exceed the total amount appropriated to the Economic Development Incentives Account for this purpose for the fiscal year. In the event that the Legislature does not appropriate an amount sufficient to satisfy projections by the office for brownfield redevelopment bonus refunds under this section in a fiscal year, the office shall, not later than July 15 of such year, determine the proportion of each brownfield redevelopment bonus refund claim which shall be paid by dividing the amount appropriated for tax refunds for the fiscal year by the projected total of brownfield redevelopment bonus refund claims for the fiscal year. The amount of each claim for a brownfield redevelopment bonus tax refund shall be multiplied by the resulting quotient. If, after the payment of all such refund claims, funds remain in the Economic Development Incentives Account for brownfield redevelopment tax refunds, the office shall recalculate the proportion for each refund claim and adjust the amount of each claim accordingly.
(j) Upon approval of the brownfield redevelopment bonus refund, payment shall be made for the amount specified in the final order. If the final order is appealed, payment may not be made for a refund to the qualified target industry business until the conclusion of all appeals of that order.
(a) The office may verify information provided in any claim submitted for tax credits under this section with regard to employment and wage levels or the payment of the taxes to the appropriate agency or authority, including the Department of Revenue, the Agency for Workforce Innovation, or any local government or authority.
(b) To facilitate the process of monitoring and auditing applications made under this program, the office may provide a list of qualified target industry businesses to the Department of Revenue, to the Agency for Workforce Innovation, to the Department of Environmental Protection, or to any local government authority. The office may request the assistance of those entities with respect to monitoring the payment of the taxes listed in s. 288.106(2).
History.--s. 11, ch. 97-277; s. 8, ch. 98-75; s. 40, ch. 2000-210; s. 4, ch. 2000-317; s. 12, ch. 2002-294; s. 9, ch. 2003-36.