Section 197.3632, Florida Statutes 2009
197.3632 Uniform method for the levy, collection, and enforcement of non-ad valorem assessments.--
(1) As used in this section:
(a) "Levy" means the imposition of a non-ad valorem assessment, stated in terms of rates, against all appropriately located property by a governmental body authorized by law to impose non-ad valorem assessments.
(b) "Local government" means a county, municipality, or special district levying non-ad valorem assessments.
(c) "Local governing board" means a governing board of a local government.
(d) "Non-ad valorem assessment" means only those assessments which are not based upon millage and which can become a lien against a homestead as permitted in s. 4, Art. X of the State Constitution.
(e) "Non-ad valorem assessment roll" means the roll prepared by a local government and certified to the tax collector for collection.
(f) "Compatible electronic medium" or "media" means machine-readable electronic repositories of data and information, including, but not limited to, magnetic disk, magnetic tape, and magnetic diskette technologies, which provide without modification that the data and information therein are in harmony with and can be used in concert with the data and information on the ad valorem tax roll keyed to the property identification number used by the property appraiser.
(g) "Capital project assessment" means a non-ad valorem assessment levied to fund a capital project, which assessment may be payable in annual payments with interest, over a period of years.
(2) A local governing board shall enter into a written agreement with the property appraiser and tax collector providing for reimbursement of necessary administrative costs incurred under this section. Administrative costs shall include, but not be limited to, those costs associated with personnel, forms, supplies, data processing, computer equipment, postage, and programming.
(3)(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, a local government which is authorized to impose a non-ad valorem assessment and which elects to use the uniform method of collecting such assessment for the first time as authorized in this section shall adopt a resolution at a public hearing prior to January 1 or, if the property appraiser, tax collector, and local government agree, March 1. The resolution shall clearly state its intent to use the uniform method of collecting such assessment. The local government shall publish notice of its intent to use the uniform method for collecting such assessment weekly in a newspaper of general circulation within each county contained in the boundaries of the local government for 4 consecutive weeks preceding the hearing. The resolution shall state the need for the levy and shall include a legal description of the boundaries of the real property subject to the levy. If the resolution is adopted, the local governing board shall send a copy of it by United States mail to the property appraiser, the tax collector, and the department by January 10 or, if the property appraiser, tax collector, and local government agree, March 10.
(b) Annually by June 1, the property appraiser shall provide each local government using the uniform method with the following information by list or compatible electronic medium: the legal description of the property within the boundaries described in the resolution, and the names and addresses of the owners of such property. Such information shall reference the property identification number and otherwise conform in format to that contained on the ad valorem roll submitted to the department. The property appraiser is not required to submit information which is not on the ad valorem roll or compatible electronic medium submitted to the department. If the local government determines that the information supplied by the property appraiser is insufficient for the local government's purpose, the local government shall obtain additional information from any other source.
(4)(a) A local government shall adopt a non-ad valorem assessment roll at a public hearing held between January 1 and September 15 if:
1. The non-ad valorem assessment is levied for the first time;
2. The non-ad valorem assessment is increased beyond the maximum rate authorized by law or judicial decree at the time of initial imposition;
3. The local government's boundaries have changed, unless all newly affected property owners have provided written consent for such assessment to the local governing board; or
4. There is a change in the purpose for such assessment or in the use of the revenue generated by such assessment.
(b) At least 20 days prior to the public hearing, the local government shall notice the hearing by first-class United States mail and by publication in a newspaper generally circulated within each county contained in the boundaries of the local government. The notice by mail shall be sent to each person owning property subject to the assessment and shall include the following information: the purpose of the assessment; the total amount to be levied against each parcel; the unit of measurement to be applied against each parcel to determine the assessment; the number of such units contained within each parcel; the total revenue the local government will collect by the assessment; a statement that failure to pay the assessment will cause a tax certificate to be issued against the property which may result in a loss of title; a statement that all affected property owners have a right to appear at the hearing and to file written objections with the local governing board within 20 days of the notice; and the date, time, and place of the hearing. However, notice by mail shall not be required if notice by mail is otherwise required by general or special law governing a taxing authority and such notice is served at least 30 days prior to the authority's public hearing on adoption of a new or amended non-ad valorem assessment roll. The published notice shall contain at least the following information: the name of the local governing board; a geographic depiction of the property subject to the assessment; the proposed schedule of the assessment; the fact that the assessment will be collected by the tax collector; and a statement that all affected property owners have the right to appear at the public hearing and the right to file written objections within 20 days of the publication of the notice.
(c) At the public hearing, the local governing board shall receive the written objections and shall hear testimony from all interested persons. The local governing board may adjourn the hearing from time to time. If the local governing board adopts the non-ad valorem assessment roll, it shall specify the unit of measurement for the assessment and the amount of the assessment. Notwithstanding the notices provided for in paragraph (b), the local governing board may adjust the assessment or the application of the assessment to any affected property based on the benefit which the board will provide or has provided to the property with the revenue generated by the assessment.
1(5)(a) By September 15 of each year, the chair of the local governing board or his or her designee shall certify a non-ad valorem assessment roll on compatible electronic medium to the tax collector. The local government shall post the non-ad valorem assessment for each parcel on the roll. The tax collector shall not accept any such roll that is not certified on compatible electronic medium and that does not contain the posting of the non-ad valorem assessment for each parcel. It is the responsibility of the local governing board that such roll be free of errors and omissions. Alterations to such roll may be made by the chair or his or her designee up to 10 days before certification. If the tax collector discovers errors or omissions on such roll, he or she may request the local governing board to file a corrected roll or a correction of the amount of any assessment.
(b) Beginning in 2009, by December 15 of each year, the tax collector shall provide to the department a copy of each local governing board's non-ad valorem assessment roll containing the data elements and in the format prescribed by the executive director. In addition, beginning in 2008, a report shall be provided to the department by December 15 of each year for each non-ad valorem assessment roll, including, but not limited to, the following information:
1. The name and type of local governing board levying the non-ad valorem assessment;
2. Whether or not the local government levies a property tax;
3. The basis for the levy;
4. The rate of assessment;
5. The total amount of non-ad valorem assessment levied; and
6. The number of parcels affected.
(6) If the non-ad valorem assessment is to be collected for a period of more than 1 year or is to be amortized over a number of years, the local governing board shall so specify and shall not be required to annually adopt the non-ad valorem assessment roll, and shall not be required to provide individual notices to each taxpayer unless the provisions of subsection (4) apply. Notice of an assessment, other than that which is required under subsection (4), may be provided by including the assessment in the property appraiser's notice of proposed property taxes and proposed or adopted non-ad valorem assessments under s. 200.069. However, the local governing board shall inform the property appraiser, tax collector, and department by January 10 if it intends to discontinue using the uniform method of collecting such assessment.
(7) Non-ad valorem assessments collected pursuant to this section shall be included in the combined notice for ad valorem taxes and non-ad valorem assessments provided for in s. 197.3635. A separate mailing is authorized only as a solution to the most exigent factual circumstances. However, if a tax collector cannot merge a non-ad valorem assessment roll to produce such a notice, he or she shall mail a separate notice of non-ad valorem assessments or shall direct the local government to mail such a separate notice. In deciding whether a separate mailing is necessary, the tax collector shall consider all costs to the local government and taxpayers of such a separate mailing and the adverse effects to the taxpayers of delayed and multiple notices. The local government whose roll could not be merged shall bear all costs associated with the separate notice.
(8)(a) Non-ad valorem assessments collected pursuant to this section shall be subject to all collection provisions of this chapter, including provisions relating to discount for early payment, prepayment by installment method, deferred payment, penalty for delinquent payment, and issuance and sale of tax certificates and tax deeds for nonpayment.
(b) Within 30 days following the hearing provided in subsection (4), any person having any right, title, or interest in any parcel against which an assessment has been levied may elect to prepay the same in whole, and the amount of such assessment shall be the full amount levied, reduced, if the local government so provides, by a discount equal to any portion of the assessment which is attributable to the parcel's proportionate share of any bond financing costs, provided the errors and insolvency procedures available for use in the collection of ad valorem taxes pursuant to s. 197.492 are followed.
(c) Non-ad valorem assessments shall also be subject to the provisions of s. 192.091(2)(b), or the tax collector at his or her option shall be compensated for the collection of non-ad valorem assessments based on the actual cost of collection, whichever is greater. However, a municipal or county government shall only compensate the tax collector for the actual cost of collecting non-ad valorem assessments.
(9) A local government may elect to use the uniform method of collecting non-ad valorem assessments as authorized by this section for any assessment levied pursuant to general or special law or local government ordinance or resolution, regardless of when the assessment was initially imposed or whether it has previously been collected by another method.
(10)(a) Capital project assessments may be levied and collected before the completion of the capital project.
(b)1. Except as provided in this subsection, the local government shall comply with all of the requirements set forth in subsections (1)-(8) for capital project assessments.
2. The requirements set forth in subsection (4) are satisfied for capital project assessments if:
a. The local government adopts or reaffirms the non-ad valorem assessment roll at a public hearing held at any time before certification of the non-ad valorem assessment roll pursuant to subsection (5) for the first year in which the capital project assessment is to be collected in the manner authorized by this section; and
b. The local government provides notice of the public hearing in the manner provided in paragraph (4)(b).
3. The local government is not required to allow prepayment for capital project assessments as set forth in paragraph (8)(b); however, if prepayment is allowed, the errors and insolvency procedures available for use in the collection of ad valorem taxes pursuant to s. 197.492 must be followed.
(c) Any hearing or notice required by this section may be combined with any other hearing or notice required by this section or by the general or special law or municipal or county ordinance pursuant to which a capital project assessment is levied.
(11) The department shall adopt rules to administer this section.
History.--s. 68, ch. 88-130; s. 7, ch. 88-216; s. 8, ch. 90-343; s. 2, ch. 91-238; s. 1013, ch. 95-147; s. 1, ch. 97-66; s. 1, ch. 2003-70; s. 10, ch. 2008-173.
1Note.--Section 13, ch. 2008-173, provides that:
"(1) The executive director of the Department of Revenue is authorized, and all conditions are deemed met, to adopt emergency rules under ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54(4), Florida Statutes, for the purpose of implementing this act.
"(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, such emergency rules shall remain in effect for 18 months after the date of adoption and may be renewed during the pendency of procedures to adopt rules addressing the subject of the emergency rules."