February 16, 2019
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The Florida Statutes

The 2008 Florida Statutes

Title XXXIII
REGULATION OF TRADE, COMMERCE, INVESTMENTS, AND SOLICITATIONS
Chapter 550
PARI-MUTUEL WAGERING
View Entire Chapter
Section 550.09511, Florida Statutes 2008

550.09511  Jai alai taxes; abandoned interest in a permit for nonpayment of taxes.--

(1)(a)  Pari-mutuel wagering at jai alai frontons in this state is an important business enterprise, and taxes derived therefrom constitute a part of the tax structure which funds operations of the state. Jai alai permitholders should pay their fair share of these taxes to the state. As further prescribed in paragraph (b), this business interest should not be taxed to such an extent as to cause any fronton which is operated under sound business principles to be forced out of business. Due to the need to protect the public health, safety, and welfare, the gaming laws of the state provide for the jai alai industry to be highly regulated and taxed. The state recognizes that there exist identifiable differences between jai alai permitholders based upon their ability to operate under such regulation and tax system.

(b)  Under the taxation system set forth in this section, which is based upon revenues instead of profits, a jai alai permitholder should pay its fair share of taxes to the state, but it should not be subjected to taxes that might cause it to operate at a loss, impair its ability to service debt or to maintain its fixed assets, or otherwise jeopardize its existence and the jobs of its employees. Any jai alai permitholder that has incurred state taxes on handle and admissions in an amount that exceeds its operating earnings in a fiscal year that ends during or after the 1997-1998 state fiscal year is entitled to credit the excess amount of the taxes against state pari-mutuel taxes due and payable after June 30, 1998, during its next ensuing meets. As used in this paragraph, the term "operating earnings" means total revenues from pari-mutuel operations net of state taxes and fees less total expenses but excluding from expenses any deductions for interest, depreciation and amortization, payments to affiliated entities other than for reimbursement of expenses related to pari-mutuel operations, and any increase in an officer's or director's annual compensation above the amount paid during calendar year 1997.

(2)  Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 550.0951(3)(b), wagering on live jai alai performances shall be subject to the following taxes:

(a)1.  The tax on handle per performance for live jai alai performances is 4.25 percent of handle per performance. However, when the live handle of a permitholder during the preceding state fiscal year was less than $15 million, the tax shall be paid on the handle in excess of $30,000 per performance per day.

2.  The tax rate shall be applicable only until the requirements of paragraph (b) are met.

(b)  At such time as the total of admissions tax, daily license fee, and tax on handle for live jai alai performances paid to the division by a permitholder during the current state fiscal year exceeds the total state tax revenues from wagering on live jai alai performances paid or due by the permitholder in fiscal year 1991-1992, the permitholder shall pay tax on handle for live jai alai performances at a rate of 2.55 percent of the handle per performance for the remainder of the current state fiscal year. For purposes of this section, total state tax revenues on live jai alai wagering in fiscal year 1991-1992 shall include any admissions tax, tax on handle, surtaxes on handle, and daily license fees.

(c)  If no tax on handle for live jai alai performances were paid to the division by a jai alai permitholder during the 1991-1992 state fiscal year, then at such time as the total of admissions tax, daily license fee, and tax on handle for live jai alai performances paid to the division by a permitholder during the current state fiscal year exceeds the total state tax revenues from wagering on live jai alai performances paid or due by the permitholder in the last state fiscal year in which the permitholder conducted a full schedule of live games, the permitholder shall pay tax on handle for live jai alai performances at a rate of 3.3 percent of the handle per performance for the remainder of the current state fiscal year. For purposes of this section, total state tax revenues on live jai alai wagering shall include any admissions tax, tax on handle, surtaxes on handle, and daily license fees. This paragraph shall take effect July 1, 1993.

(d)  A permitholder who obtains a new permit issued by the division subsequent to the 1991-1992 state fiscal year and a permitholder whose permit has been converted to a jai alai permit under the provisions of this chapter, shall, at such time as the total of admissions tax, daily license fee, and tax on handle for live jai alai performances paid to the division by the permitholder during the current state fiscal year exceeds the average total state tax revenues from wagering on live jai alai performances for the first 3 consecutive jai alai seasons paid to or due the division by the permitholder and during which the permitholder conducted a full schedule of live games, pay tax on handle for live jai alai performances at a rate of 3.3 percent of the handle per performance for the remainder of the current state fiscal year.

(e)  The payment of taxes pursuant to paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) shall be calculated and commence beginning the day after the biweekly period in which the permitholder is first entitled to the reduced rate specified in this section and the report of taxes required by s. 550.0951(5) is submitted to the division.

(f)  A jai alai permitholder paying taxes under this section shall retain the breaks and pay an amount equal to the breaks as special prize awards which shall be in addition to the regular contracted prize money paid to jai alai players at the permitholder's facility. Payment of the special prize money shall be made during the permitholder's current meet.

(g)  For purposes of this section, "handle" shall have the same meaning as in s. 550.0951, and shall not include handle from intertrack wagering.

(3)(a)  Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (2) and s. 550.0951(3)(c)1., any jai alai permitholder which is restricted under Florida law from operating live performances on a year-round basis is entitled to conduct wagering on live performances at a tax rate of 3.85 percent of live handle. Such permitholder is also entitled to conduct intertrack wagering as a host permitholder on live jai alai games at its fronton at a tax rate of 3.3 percent of handle at such time as the total tax on intertrack handle paid to the division by the permitholder during the current state fiscal year exceeds the total tax on intertrack handle paid to the division by the permitholder during the 1992-1993 state fiscal year.

(b)  The payment of taxes pursuant to paragraph (a) shall be calculated and commence beginning the day after the biweekly period in which the permitholder is first entitled to the reduced rate specified in this subsection.

(4)  A jai alai permitholder conducting fewer than 100 live performances in any calendar year shall pay to the state the same aggregate amount of daily license fees on live jai alai games, admissions tax, and tax on live handle as that permitholder paid to the state during the most recent prior calendar year in which the jai alai permitholder conducted at least 100 live performances.

(5)  In the event that a court of competent jurisdiction determines any of the provisions of this section to be unconstitutional, it is the intent of the Legislature that the provisions contained in this section shall be null and void and that the provisions of s. 550.0951 shall apply to all jai alai permitholders beginning on the date of such judicial determination. To this end, the Legislature declares that it would not have enacted any of the provisions of this section individually and, to that end, expressly finds them not to be severable.

History.--s. 1, ch. 93-287; s. 3, ch. 94-328; ss. 5, 16, ch. 95-390; ss. 5, 26, ch. 96-364; s. 6, ch. 98-217; s. 2, ch. 98-401; s. 22, ch. 99-4; s. 2, ch. 2005-288.

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