Section 338.231, Florida Statutes 2007
338.231 Turnpike tolls, fixing; pledge of tolls and other revenues.--The department shall at all times fix, adjust, charge, and collect such tolls for the use of the turnpike system as are required in order to provide a fund sufficient with other revenues of the turnpike system to pay the cost of maintaining, improving, repairing, and operating such turnpike system; to pay the principal of and interest on all bonds issued to finance or refinance any portion of the turnpike system as the same become due and payable; and to create reserves for all such purposes.
(1) In the process of effectuating toll rate increases over the period 1988 through 1992, the department shall, to the maximum extent feasible, equalize the toll structure, within each vehicle classification, so that the per mile toll rate will be approximately the same throughout the turnpike system. New turnpike projects may have toll rates higher than the uniform system rate where such higher toll rates are necessary to qualify the project in accordance with the financial criteria in the turnpike law. Such higher rates may be reduced to the uniform system rate when the project is generating sufficient revenues to pay the full amount of debt service and operating and maintenance costs at the uniform system rate. If, after 15 years of opening to traffic, the annual revenue of a turnpike project does not meet or exceed the annual debt service requirements and operating and maintenance costs attributable to such project, the department shall, to the maximum extent feasible, establish a toll rate for the project which is higher than the uniform system rate as necessary to meet such annual debt service requirements and operating and maintenance costs. The department may, to the extent feasible, establish a temporary toll rate at less than the uniform system rate for the purpose of building patronage for the ultimate benefit of the turnpike system. In no case shall the temporary rate be established for more than 1 year. The requirements of this subsection shall not apply when the application of such requirements would violate any covenant established in a resolution or trust indenture relating to the issuance of turnpike bonds.
(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the department may defer the scheduled July 1, 1993, toll rate increase on the Homestead Extension of the Florida Turnpike until July 1, 1995. The department may also advance funds to the Turnpike General Reserve Trust Fund to replace estimated lost revenues resulting from this deferral. The amount advanced must be repaid within 12 years from the date of advance; however, the repayment is subordinate to all other debt financing of the turnpike system outstanding at the time repayment is due.
(3) The department shall publish a proposed change in the toll rate for the use of an existing toll facility, in the manner provided for in s. 120.54, which will provide for public notice and the opportunity for a public hearing before the adoption of the proposed rate change. When the department is evaluating a proposed turnpike toll project under s. 338.223 and has determined that there is a high probability that the project will pass the test of economic feasibility predicated on proposed toll rates, the toll rate that is proposed to be charged after the project is constructed must be adopted during the planning and project development phase of the project, in the manner provided for in s. 120.54, including public notice and the opportunity for a public hearing. For such a new project, the toll rate becomes effective upon the opening of the project to traffic.
(4) For the period July 1, 1998, through June 30, 2017, the department shall, to the maximum extent feasible, program sufficient funds in the tentative work program such that the percentage of turnpike toll and bond financed commitments in Dade County, Broward County, and Palm Beach County as compared to total turnpike toll and bond financed commitments shall be at least 90 percent of the share of net toll collections attributable to users of the turnpike system in Dade County, Broward County, and Palm Beach County as compared to total net toll collections attributable to users of the turnpike system. The requirements of this subsection do not apply when the application of such requirements would violate any covenant established in a resolution or trust indenture relating to the issuance of turnpike bonds.
(5) When bonds are outstanding which have been issued to finance or refinance any turnpike project, the tolls and all other revenues derived from the turnpike system and pledged to such bonds shall be set aside as may be provided in the resolution authorizing the issuance of such bonds or the trust agreement securing the same. The tolls or other revenues or other moneys so pledged and thereafter received by the department are immediately subject to the lien of such pledge without any physical delivery thereof or further act. The lien of any such pledge is valid and binding as against all parties having claims of any kind in tort or contract or otherwise against the department irrespective of whether such parties have notice thereof. Neither the resolution nor any trust agreement by which a pledge is created need be filed or recorded except in the records of the department.
(6) In each fiscal year while any of the bonds of the Broward County Expressway Authority series 1984 and series 1986-A remain outstanding, the department is authorized to pledge revenues from the turnpike system to the payment of principal and interest of such series of bonds and the operation and maintenance expenses of the Sawgrass Expressway, to the extent gross toll revenues of the Sawgrass Expressway are insufficient to make such payments. The terms of an agreement relative to the pledge of turnpike system revenue will be negotiated with the parties of the 1984 and 1986 Broward County Expressway Authority lease-purchase agreements, and subject to the covenants of those agreements. The agreement shall establish that the Sawgrass Expressway shall be subject to the planning, management, and operating control of the department limited only by the terms of the lease-purchase agreements. The department shall provide for the payment of operation and maintenance expenses of the Sawgrass Expressway until such agreement is in effect. This pledge of turnpike system revenues shall be subordinate to the debt service requirements of any future issue of turnpike bonds, the payment of turnpike system operation and maintenance expenses, and subject to provisions of any subsequent resolution or trust indenture relating to the issuance of such turnpike bonds.
(7) The use and disposition of revenues pledged to bonds are subject to the provisions of ss. 338.22-338.241 and such regulations as the resolution authorizing the issuance of such bonds or such trust agreement may provide.
History.--s. 12, ch. 28128, 1953; ss. 23, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 84-276; s. 193, ch. 84-309; s. 9, ch. 88-286; s. 16, ch. 90-136; s. 57, ch. 93-164; s. 22, ch. 97-280; s. 131, ch. 99-13; s. 96, ch. 99-385; s. 37, ch. 2007-196.
Note.--Division of former s. 340.12.