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The Florida Statutes

The 2001 Florida Statutes

Title XIV
Taxation And Finance
Chapter 215
Financial Matters: General Provisions
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Section 215.322, Florida Statutes 2001

215.322  Acceptance of credit cards, charge cards, or debit cards by state agencies, units of local government, and the judicial branch.--

(1)  It is the intent of the Legislature to encourage state agencies, the judicial branch and units of local government to make their goods, services, and information more convenient to the public through the acceptance of payments by credit cards, charge cards, and debit cards to the maximum extent practicable when the benefits to the participating agency and the public substantiate the cost of accepting these types of payments.

(2)  A state agency as defined in s. 216.011, or the judicial branch, may accept credit cards, charge cards, or debit cards in payment for goods and services with the prior approval of the Treasurer. When the Internet or other related electronic methods are to be used as the collection medium, the State Technology Office shall review and recommend to the Treasurer whether to approve the request with regard to the process or procedure to be used.

(3)  The Treasurer shall adopt rules governing the establishment and acceptance of credit cards, charge cards, or debit cards by state agencies or the judicial branch, including, but not limited to, the following:

(a)  Utilization of a standardized contract between the financial institution or other appropriate intermediaries and the agency or judicial branch which shall be developed by the Treasurer or approval by the Treasurer of a substitute agreement.

(b)  Procedures which permit an agency or officer accepting payment by credit card, charge card, or debit card to impose a convenience fee upon the person making the payment. However, the total amount of such convenience fees shall not exceed the total cost to the state agency. A convenience fee is not refundable to the payor. Notwithstanding the foregoing, this section shall not be construed to permit surcharges on any other credit card purchase in violation of s. 501.0117.

(c)  All service fees payable pursuant to this section when practicable shall be invoiced and paid by state warrant or such other manner that is satisfactory to the Comptroller in accordance with the time periods specified in s. 215.422.

(d)  Submission of information to the Treasurer concerning the acceptance of credit cards, charge cards, or debit cards by all state agencies or the judicial branch.

(e)  A methodology for agencies to use when completing the cost-benefit analysis referred to in subsection (1). The methodology must consider all quantifiable cost reductions, other benefits to the agency, and potential impact on general revenue. The methodology must also consider nonquantifiable benefits such as the convenience to individuals and businesses that would benefit from the ability to pay for state goods and services through the use of credit cards, charge cards, and debit cards.

(4)  The Treasurer is authorized to establish contracts with one or more financial institutions, credit card companies, or other entities which may lawfully provide such services, in a manner consistent with chapter 287, for processing credit card, charge card, or debit card collections for deposit into the State Treasury or another qualified public depository. Any state agency, or the judicial branch, which accepts payment by credit card, charge card, or debit card shall use at least one of the contractors established by the Treasurer unless the state agency or judicial branch obtains authorization from the Treasurer to use another contractor which is more advantageous to such state agency or the judicial branch. Such contracts may authorize a unit of local government to use the services upon the same terms and conditions for deposit of credit card, charge card, or debit card transactions into its qualified public depositories.

(5)  A unit of local government, which term means a municipality, special district, or board of county commissioners or other governing body of a county, however styled, including that of a consolidated or metropolitan government, and means any clerk of the circuit court, sheriff, property appraiser, tax collector, or supervisor of elections, is authorized to accept payment by use of credit cards, charge cards, and bank debit cards for financial obligations that are owing to such unit of local government and to surcharge the person who uses a credit card, charge card, or bank debit card in payment of taxes, license fees, tuition, fines, civil penalties, court-ordered payments, or court costs, or other statutorily prescribed revenues an amount sufficient to pay the service fee charges by the financial institution, vending service company, or credit card company for such services. A unit of local government shall verify both the validity of any credit card, charge card, or bank debit card used pursuant to this subsection and the existence of appropriate credit with respect to the person using the card. The unit of local government does not incur any liability as a result of such verification or any subsequent action taken.

(6)  Credit card account numbers in the possession of a state agency, a unit of local government, or the judicial branch are confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1).

(7)  Any action required to be performed by a state officer or agency pursuant to this section shall be performed within 10 working days after receipt of the request for approval or be deemed approved if not acted upon within that time.

(8)  Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to prohibit a state agency or the judicial branch from continuing to accept charge cards or debit cards pursuant to a contract which was lawfully entered into prior to the effective date of this act unless specifically directed otherwise in the General Appropriations Act. However, such contract shall not be extended or renewed after the effective date of this act unless such renewal and extension conforms to the requirements of this section.

History.--s. 1, ch. 83-332; s. 15, ch. 88-119; s. 53, ch. 90-360; s. 18, ch. 92-142; s. 1, ch. 92-300; s. 16, ch. 96-324; s. 69, ch. 96-406; s. 11, ch. 97-241; s. 30, ch. 2000-164.

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