June 03, 2020
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CS/HB 7205

1
A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to professional sports franchises;
3amending ss. 14.2015, 212.20, and 218.64, F.S., relating
4to the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development,
5the distribution of certain tax proceeds, and the
6allocation of a portion of the local government half-cent
7sales tax; conforming provisions to changes made by the
8act; conforming cross-references; amending s. 288.1162,
9F.S.; deleting provisions relating to the certification
10and funding of facilities for spring training baseball
11franchises; authorizing the Auditor General to conduct
12audits to verify whether certain funds for professional
13sports franchises are used as required by law; requiring
14the Auditor General to notify the Department of Revenue if
15the funds are not used as required by law; creating s.
16288.11621, F.S.; authorizing certain units of local
17government to apply for certification to receive state
18funding for a facility for a spring training franchise;
19providing definitions; providing eligibility requirements;
20providing criteria to competitively evaluate applications
21for certification; requiring a certified applicant to use
22the funds awarded for specified public purposes and place
23unexpended funds in a trust fund or separate account;
24authorizing a certified applicant to request a suspension
25of the distribution of funds for a specified period under
26certain circumstances; requiring the expenditure of funds
27by certain certified applicants within a specified period;
28requiring the completion of certain spring training
29facility projects within a specified period; requiring
30certified applicants to submit annual reports to the
31Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development;
32requiring the office to decertify applicants under certain
33circumstances; providing for delay in decertification
34proceedings for local governments certified before a
35specified date under certain circumstances; providing for
36review of the office's notice of intent to decertify an
37applicant; requiring an applicant to repay unencumbered
38state funds and interest after decertification; specifying
39circumstances under which a certified applicant that is a
40local government may not be decertified under certain
41circumstances; requiring the office to develop a strategic
42plan relating to baseball spring training activities;
43requiring the office to adopt rules; authorizing the
44Auditor General to conduct audits to verify whether
45certified funds for baseball spring training facilities
46are used as required by law; requiring the Auditor General
47to notify the Department of Revenue if the funds are not
48used as required by law; amending s. 288.1229, F.S.;
49providing that the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic
50Development may authorize a direct-support organization to
51assist in the retention of professional sports franchises;
52recognizing the validity of specified agreements under
53certain circumstances; providing an effective date.
54
55Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
56
57     Section 1.  Paragraph (f) of subsection (2) of section
5814.2015, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
59     14.2015  Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic
60Development; creation; powers and duties.-
61     (2)  The purpose of the Office of Tourism, Trade, and
62Economic Development is to assist the Governor in working with
63the Legislature, state agencies, business leaders, and economic
64development professionals to formulate and implement coherent
65and consistent policies and strategies designed to provide
66economic opportunities for all Floridians. To accomplish such
67purposes, the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development
68shall:
69     (f)1.  Administer the Florida Enterprise Zone Act under ss.
70290.001-290.016, the community contribution tax credit program
71under ss. 220.183 and 624.5105, the tax refund program for
72qualified target industry businesses under s. 288.106, the tax-
73refund program for qualified defense contractors and space
74flight business contractors under s. 288.1045, contracts for
75transportation projects under s. 288.063, the sports franchise
76facility programs program under ss. 288.1162 and 288.11621 s.
77288.1162, the professional golf hall of fame facility program
78under s. 288.1168, the expedited permitting process under s.
79403.973, the Rural Community Development Revolving Loan Fund
80under s. 288.065, the Regional Rural Development Grants Program
81under s. 288.018, the Certified Capital Company Act under s.
82288.99, the Florida State Rural Development Council, the Rural
83Economic Development Initiative, and other programs that are
84specifically assigned to the office by law, by the
85appropriations process, or by the Governor. Notwithstanding any
86other provisions of law, the office may expend interest earned
87from the investment of program funds deposited in the Grants and
88Donations Trust Fund to contract for the administration of the
89programs, or portions of the programs, enumerated in this
90paragraph or assigned to the office by law, by the
91appropriations process, or by the Governor. Such expenditures
92shall be subject to review under chapter 216.
93     2.  The office may enter into contracts in connection with
94the fulfillment of its duties concerning the Florida First
95Business Bond Pool under chapter 159, tax incentives under
96chapters 212 and 220, tax incentives under the Certified Capital
97Company Act in chapter 288, foreign offices under chapter 288,
98the Enterprise Zone program under chapter 290, the Seaport
99Employment Training program under chapter 311, the Florida
100Professional Sports Team License Plates under chapter 320,
101Spaceport Florida under chapter 331, Expedited Permitting under
102chapter 403, and in carrying out other functions that are
103specifically assigned to the office by law, by the
104appropriations process, or by the Governor.
105     Section 2.  Paragraph (d) of subsection (6) of section
106212.20, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
107     212.20  Funds collected, disposition; additional powers of
108department; operational expense; refund of taxes adjudicated
109unconstitutionally collected.-
110     (6)  Distribution of all proceeds under this chapter and s.
111202.18(1)(b) and (2)(b) shall be as follows:
112     (d)  The proceeds of all other taxes and fees imposed
113pursuant to this chapter or remitted pursuant to s. 202.18(1)(b)
114and (2)(b) shall be distributed as follows:
115     1.  In any fiscal year, the greater of $500 million, minus
116an amount equal to 4.6 percent of the proceeds of the taxes
117collected pursuant to chapter 201, or 5.2 percent of all other
118taxes and fees imposed pursuant to this chapter or remitted
119pursuant to s. 202.18(1)(b) and (2)(b) shall be deposited in
120monthly installments into the General Revenue Fund.
121     2.  After the distribution under subparagraph 1., 8.814
122percent of the amount remitted by a sales tax dealer located
123within a participating county pursuant to s. 218.61 shall be
124transferred into the Local Government Half-cent Sales Tax
125Clearing Trust Fund. Beginning July 1, 2003, the amount to be
126transferred shall be reduced by 0.1 percent, and the department
127shall distribute this amount to the Public Employees Relations
128Commission Trust Fund less $5,000 each month, which shall be
129added to the amount calculated in subparagraph 3. and
130distributed accordingly.
131     3.  After the distribution under subparagraphs 1. and 2.,
1320.095 percent shall be transferred to the Local Government Half-
133cent Sales Tax Clearing Trust Fund and distributed pursuant to
134s. 218.65.
135     4.  After the distributions under subparagraphs 1., 2., and
1363., 2.0440 percent of the available proceeds shall be
137transferred monthly to the Revenue Sharing Trust Fund for
138Counties pursuant to s. 218.215.
139     5.  After the distributions under subparagraphs 1., 2., and
1403., 1.3409 percent of the available proceeds shall be
141transferred monthly to the Revenue Sharing Trust Fund for
142Municipalities pursuant to s. 218.215. If the total revenue to
143be distributed pursuant to this subparagraph is at least as
144great as the amount due from the Revenue Sharing Trust Fund for
145Municipalities and the former Municipal Financial Assistance
146Trust Fund in state fiscal year 1999-2000, no municipality shall
147receive less than the amount due from the Revenue Sharing Trust
148Fund for Municipalities and the former Municipal Financial
149Assistance Trust Fund in state fiscal year 1999-2000. If the
150total proceeds to be distributed are less than the amount
151received in combination from the Revenue Sharing Trust Fund for
152Municipalities and the former Municipal Financial Assistance
153Trust Fund in state fiscal year 1999-2000, each municipality
154shall receive an amount proportionate to the amount it was due
155in state fiscal year 1999-2000.
156     6.  Of the remaining proceeds:
157     a.  In each fiscal year, the sum of $29,915,500 shall be
158divided into as many equal parts as there are counties in the
159state, and one part shall be distributed to each county. The
160distribution among the several counties must begin each fiscal
161year on or before January 5th and continue monthly for a total
162of 4 months. If a local or special law required that any moneys
163accruing to a county in fiscal year 1999-2000 under the then-
164existing provisions of s. 550.135 be paid directly to the
165district school board, special district, or a municipal
166government, such payment must continue until the local or
167special law is amended or repealed. The state covenants with
168holders of bonds or other instruments of indebtedness issued by
169local governments, special districts, or district school boards
170before July 1, 2000, that it is not the intent of this
171subparagraph to adversely affect the rights of those holders or
172relieve local governments, special districts, or district school
173boards of the duty to meet their obligations as a result of
174previous pledges or assignments or trusts entered into which
175obligated funds received from the distribution to county
176governments under then-existing s. 550.135. This distribution
177specifically is in lieu of funds distributed under s. 550.135
178before July 1, 2000.
179     b.  The department shall distribute $166,667 monthly
180pursuant to s. 288.1162 to each applicant that has been
181certified as a facility for a new or retained professional
182sports franchise "facility for a new professional sports
183franchise" or a "facility for a retained professional sports
184franchise" pursuant to s. 288.1162. Up to $41,667 shall be
185distributed monthly by the department to each certified
186applicant as defined in s. 288.11621 for a facility for a spring
187training franchise. that has been certified as a "facility for a
188retained spring training franchise" pursuant to s. 288.1162;
189However, not more than $416,670 may be distributed monthly in
190the aggregate to all certified applicants for facilities for a
191retained spring training franchises franchise. Distributions
192must begin 60 days after following such certification and shall
193continue for not more than 30 years, except as otherwise
194provided in s. 288.11621. A certified applicant identified in
195this sub-subparagraph may not This paragraph may not be
196construed to allow an applicant certified pursuant to s.
197288.1162 to receive more in distributions than actually expended
198by the applicant for the public purposes provided for in s.
199288.1162(5) or s. 288.11621(3) s. 288.1162(6).
200     c.  Beginning 30 days after notice by the Office of
201Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development to the Department of
202Revenue that an applicant has been certified as the professional
203golf hall of fame pursuant to s. 288.1168 and is open to the
204public, $166,667 shall be distributed monthly, for up to 300
205months, to the applicant.
206     d.  Beginning 30 days after notice by the Office of
207Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development to the Department of
208Revenue that the applicant has been certified as the
209International Game Fish Association World Center facility
210pursuant to s. 288.1169, and the facility is open to the public,
211$83,333 shall be distributed monthly, for up to 168 months, to
212the applicant. This distribution is subject to reduction
213pursuant to s. 288.1169. A lump sum payment of $999,996 shall be
214made, after certification and before July 1, 2000.
215     7.  All other proceeds must remain in the General Revenue
216Fund.
217     Section 3.  Section 218.64, Florida Statutes, is amended to
218read:
219     218.64  Local government half-cent sales tax; uses;
220limitations.-
221     (1)  The proportion of the local government half-cent sales
222tax received by a county government based on two-thirds of the
223incorporated area population shall be deemed countywide revenues
224and shall be expended only for countywide tax relief or
225countywide programs. The remaining county government portion
226shall be deemed county revenues derived on behalf of the
227unincorporated area but may be expended on a countywide basis.
228     (2)  Municipalities shall expend their portions of the
229local government half-cent sales tax only for municipality-wide
230programs or for municipality-wide property tax or municipal
231utility tax relief. All utility tax rate reductions afforded by
232participation in the local government half-cent sales tax shall
233be applied uniformly across all types of taxed utility services.
234     (3)  Subject to ordinances enacted by the majority of the
235members of the county governing authority and by the majority of
236the members of the governing authorities of municipalities
237representing at least 50 percent of the municipal population of
238such county, counties may use up to $2 million annually of the
239local government half-cent sales tax allocated to that county
240for funding for any of the following applicants:
241     (a)  A certified applicant as a facility for a new or
242retained professional sports franchise under "facility for a new
243professional sports franchise," a "facility for a retained
244professional sports franchise," or a "facility for a retained
245spring training franchise," as provided for in s. 288.1162 or a
246certified applicant as defined in s. 288.11621 for a facility
247for a spring training franchise. It is the Legislature's intent
248that the provisions of s. 288.1162, including, but not limited
249to, the evaluation process by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and
250Economic Development except for the limitation on the number of
251certified applicants or facilities as provided in that section
252and the restrictions set forth in s. 288.1162(8) s. 288.1162(9),
253shall apply to an applicant's facility to be funded
254government as provided in this subsection.
255     (b)  A certified applicant as a "motorsport entertainment
256complex," as provided for in s. 288.1171. Funding for each
257franchise or motorsport complex shall begin 60 days after
258certification and shall continue for not more than 30 years.
259     (4)  A local government is authorized to pledge proceeds of
260the local government half-cent sales tax for the payment of
261principal and interest on any capital project.
262     Section 4.  Section 288.1162, Florida Statutes, is amended
263to read:
264     288.1162  Professional sports franchises; spring training
265franchises; duties.-
266     (1)  The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development
267shall serve as the state agency for screening applicants for
268state funding under pursuant to s. 212.20 and for certifying an
269applicant as a facility for a new or retained professional
270sports franchise. "facility for a new professional sports
271franchise," a "facility for a retained professional sports
272franchise," or a "facility for a retained spring training
273franchise."
274     (2)  The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development
275shall develop rules for the receipt and processing of
276applications for funding under pursuant to s. 212.20.
277     (3)  As used in this section, the term:
278     (a)  "New professional sports franchise" means a
279professional sports franchise that was is not based in this
280state before prior to April 1, 1987.
281     (b)  "Retained professional sports franchise" means a
282professional sports franchise that has had a league-authorized
283location in this state on or before December 31, 1976, and has
284continuously remained at that location, and has never been
285located at a facility that has been previously certified under
286any provision of this section.
287     (4)  Before Prior to certifying an applicant as a facility
288for a new or retained professional sports franchise, "facility
289for a new professional sports franchise" or a "facility for a
290retained professional sports franchise," the Office of Tourism,
291Trade, and Economic Development must determine that:
292     (a)  A "unit of local government" as defined in s. 218.369
293is responsible for the construction, management, or operation of
294the professional sports franchise facility or holds title to the
295property on which the professional sports franchise facility is
296located.
297     (b)  The applicant has a verified copy of a signed
298agreement with a new professional sports franchise for the use
299of the facility for a term of at least 10 years, or in the case
300of a retained professional sports franchise, an agreement for
301use of the facility for a term of at least 20 years.
302     (c)  The applicant has a verified copy of the approval from
303the governing authority of the league in which the new
304professional sports franchise exists authorizing the location of
305the professional sports franchise in this state after April 1,
3061987, or in the case of a retained professional sports
307franchise, verified evidence that it has had a league-authorized
308location in this state on or before December 31, 1976. As used
309in this section, the term "league" means the National League or
310the American League of Major League Baseball, the National
311Basketball Association, the National Football League, or the
312National Hockey League.
313     (d)  The applicant has projections, verified by the Office
314of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development, which demonstrate
315that the new or retained professional sports franchise will
316attract a paid attendance of more than 300,000 annually.
317     (e)  The applicant has an independent analysis or study,
318verified by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic
319Development, which demonstrates that the amount of the revenues
320generated by the taxes imposed under chapter 212 with respect to
321the use and operation of the professional sports franchise
322facility will equal or exceed $2 million annually.
323     (f)  The municipality in which the facility for a new or
324retained professional sports franchise is located, or the county
325if the facility for a new or retained professional sports
326franchise is located in an unincorporated area, has certified by
327resolution after a public hearing that the application serves a
328public purpose.
329     (g)  The applicant has demonstrated that it has provided,
330is capable of providing, or has financial or other commitments
331to provide more than one-half of the costs incurred or related
332to the improvement and development of the facility.
333     (h)  An No applicant previously certified under any
334provision of this section who has received funding under such
335certification is not shall be eligible for an additional
336certification.
337     (5)(a)  As used in this section, the term "retained spring
338training franchise" means a spring training franchise that has
339been based in this state prior to January 1, 2000.
340     (b)  Prior to certifying an applicant as a "facility for a
341retained spring training franchise," the Office of Tourism,
342Trade, and Economic Development must determine that:
343     1.  A "unit of local government" as defined in s. 218.369
344is responsible for the acquisition, construction, management, or
345operation of the facility for a retained spring training
346franchise or holds title to the property on which the facility
347for a retained spring training franchise is located.
348     2.  The applicant has a verified copy of a signed agreement
349with a retained spring training franchise for the use of the
350facility for a term of at least 15 years.
351     3.  The applicant has a financial commitment to provide 50
352percent or more of the funds required by an agreement for the
353acquisition, construction, or renovation of the facility for a
354retained spring training franchise. The agreement can be
355contingent upon the awarding of funds under this section and
356other conditions precedent to use by the spring training
357franchise.
358     4.  The applicant has projections, verified by the Office
359of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development, which demonstrate
360that the facility for a retained spring training franchise will
361attract a paid attendance of at least 50,000 annually.
362     5.  The facility for a retained spring training franchise
363is located in a county that is levying a tourist development tax
364pursuant to s. 125.0104.
365     (c)1.  The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic
366Development shall competitively evaluate applications for
367funding of a facility for a retained spring training franchise.
368Applications must be submitted by October 1, 2000, with
369certifications to be made by January 1, 2001. If the number of
370applicants exceeds five and the aggregate funding request of all
371applications exceeds $208,335 per month, the office shall rank
372the applications according to a selection criteria, certifying
373the highest ranked proposals. The evaluation criteria shall
374include, with priority given in descending order to the
375following items:
376     a.  The intended use of the funds by the applicant, with
377priority given to the construction of a new facility.
378     b.  The length of time that the existing franchise has been
379located in the state, with priority given to retaining
380franchises that have been in the same location the longest.
381     c.  The length of time that a facility to be used by a
382retained spring training franchise has been used by one or more
383spring training franchises, with priority given to a facility
384that has been in continuous use as a facility for spring
385training the longest.
386     d.  For those teams leasing a spring training facility from
387a unit of local government, the remaining time on the lease for
388facilities used by the spring training franchise, with priority
389given to the shortest time period remaining on the lease.
390     e.  The duration of the future-use agreement with the
391retained spring training franchise, with priority given to the
392future-use agreement having the longest duration.
393     f.  The amount of the local match, with priority given to
394the largest percentage of local match proposed.
395     g.  The net increase of total active recreation space owned
396by the applying unit of local government following the
397acquisition of land for the spring training facility, with
398priority given to the largest percentage increase of total
399active recreation space.
400     h.  The location of the facility in a brownfield, an
401enterprise zone, a community redevelopment area, or other area
402of targeted development or revitalization included in an Urban
403Infill Redevelopment Plan, with priority given to facilities
404located in these areas.
405     i.  The projections on paid attendance attracted by the
406facility and the proposed effect on the economy of the local
407community, with priority given to the highest projected paid
408attendance.
409     2.  Beginning July 1, 2006, the Office of Tourism, Trade,
410and Economic Development shall competitively evaluate
411applications for funding of facilities for retained spring
412training franchises in addition to those certified and funded
413under subparagraph 1. An applicant that is a unit of government
414that has an agreement for a retained spring training franchise
415for 15 or more years which was entered into between July 1,
4162003, and July 1, 2004, shall be eligible for funding.
417Applications must be submitted by October 1, 2006, with
418certifications to be made by January 1, 2007. The office shall
419rank the applications according to selection criteria,
420certifying no more than five proposals. The aggregate funding
421request of all applicants certified shall not exceed an
422aggregate funding request of $208,335 per month. The evaluation
423criteria shall include the following, with priority given in
424descending order:
425     a.  The intended use of the funds by the applicant for
426acquisition or construction of a new facility.
427     b.  The intended use of the funds by the applicant to
428renovate a facility.
429     c.  The length of time that a facility to be used by a
430retained spring training franchise has been used by one or more
431spring training franchises, with priority given to a facility
432that has been in continuous use as a facility for spring
433training the longest.
434     d.  For those teams leasing a spring training facility from
435a unit of local government, the remaining time on the lease for
436facilities used by the spring training franchise, with priority
437given to the shortest time period remaining on the lease. For
438consideration under this subparagraph, the remaining time on the
439lease shall not exceed 5 years, unless an agreement of 15 years
440or more was entered into between July 1, 2003, and July 1, 2004.
441     e.  The duration of the future-use agreement with the
442retained spring training franchise, with priority given to the
443future-use agreement having the longest duration.
444     f.  The amount of the local match, with priority given to
445the largest percentage of local match proposed.
446     g.  The net increase of total active recreation space owned
447by the applying unit of local government following the
448acquisition of land for the spring training facility, with
449priority given to the largest percentage increase of total
450active recreation space.
451     h.  The location of the facility in a brownfield area, an
452enterprise zone, a community redevelopment area, or another area
453of targeted development or revitalization included in an urban
454infill redevelopment plan, with priority given to facilities
455located in those areas.
456     i.  The projections on paid attendance attracted by the
457facility and the proposed effect on the economy of the local
458community, with priority given to the highest projected paid
459attendance.
460     (d)  Funds may not be expended to subsidize privately owned
461and maintained facilities for use by the spring training
462franchise. Funds may be used to relocate a retained spring
463training franchise to another unit of local government only if
464the existing unit of local government with the retained spring
465training franchise agrees to the relocation.
466     (5)(6)  An applicant certified as a facility for a new or
467retained professional sports franchise or a facility for a
468retained professional sports franchise or as a facility for a
469retained spring training franchise may use funds provided under
470pursuant to s. 212.20 only for the public purpose of paying for
471the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, or renovation of
472a facility for a new or retained professional sports franchise,
473a facility for a retained professional sports franchise, or a
474facility for a retained spring training franchise or to pay or
475pledge for the payment of debt service on, or to fund debt
476service reserve funds, arbitrage rebate obligations, or other
477amounts payable with respect to, bonds issued for the
478acquisition, construction, reconstruction, or renovation of such
479facility or for the reimbursement of such costs or the
480refinancing of bonds issued for such purposes.
481     (6)(7)(a)  The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic
482Development shall notify the Department of Revenue of any
483facility certified as a facility for a new or retained
484professional sports franchise or a facility for a retained
485professional sports franchise or as a facility for a retained
486spring training franchise. The Office of Tourism, Trade, and
487Economic Development shall certify no more than eight facilities
488as facilities for a new professional sports franchise or as
489facilities for a retained professional sports franchise,
490including in the such total any facilities certified by the
491former Department of Commerce before July 1, 1996. The number of
492facilities certified as a retained spring training franchise
493shall be as provided in subsection (5). The office may make no
494more than one certification for any facility. The office may not
495certify funding for less than the requested amount to any
496applicant certified as a facility for a retained spring training
497franchise.
498     (b)  The eighth certification of an applicant under this
499section as a facility for a new or retained professional sports
500franchise or a facility for a retained professional sports
501franchise shall be for a franchise that is a member of the
502National Basketball Association, has been located within the
503state since 1987, and has not been previously certified. This
504paragraph is repealed July 1, 2010.
505     (7)(8)  The Auditor General Department of Revenue may
506conduct audits audit as provided in s. 11.45 s. 213.34 to verify
507that the distributions under pursuant to this section are have
508been expended as required in this section. Such information is
509subject to the confidentiality requirements of chapter 213. If
510the Auditor General Department of Revenue determines that the
511distributions under pursuant to this section are have not been
512expended as required by this section, the Auditor General shall
513notify the Department of Revenue, which it may pursue recovery
514of the such funds under pursuant to the laws and rules governing
515the assessment of taxes.
516     (8)(9)  An applicant is not qualified for certification
517under this section if the franchise formed the basis for a
518previous certification, unless the previous certification was
519withdrawn by the facility or invalidated by the Office of
520Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development or the former
521Department of Commerce before any funds were distributed under
522pursuant to s. 212.20. This subsection does not disqualify an
523applicant if the previous certification occurred between May 23,
5241993, and May 25, 1993; however, any funds to be distributed
525under pursuant to s. 212.20 for the second certification shall
526be offset by the amount distributed to the previous certified
527facility. Distribution of funds for the second certification
528shall not be made until all amounts payable for the first
529certification are have been distributed.
530     Section 5.  Section 288.11621, Florida Statutes, is created
531to read:
532     288.11621  Spring training baseball franchises.-
533     (1)  DEFINITIONS.-As used in this section, the term:
534     (a)  "Agreement" means a certified, signed lease between an
535applicant that applies for certification on or after July 1,
5362010, and the spring training franchise for the use of a
537facility.
538     (b)  "Applicant" means a unit of local government as
539defined in s. 218.369, including local governments located in
540the same county that have partnered with a certified applicant
541before the effective date of this section or with an applicant
542for a new certification, for purposes of sharing in the
543responsibilities of a facility.
544     (c)  "Certified applicant" means a facility for a spring
545training franchise that was certified before July 1, 2010, under
546s. 288.1162(5), Florida Statutes 2009, or a unit of local
547government that is certified under this section.
548     (d)  "Facility" means a spring training stadium, playing
549fields, and appurtenances intended to support spring training
550activities.
551     (e)  "Local funds" and "local matching funds" mean funds
552provided by a county, municipality, or other local government.
553     (f)  "Office" means the Office of Tourism, Trade, and
554Economic Development.
555     (2)  CERTIFICATION PROCESS.-
556     (a)  Before certifying an applicant to receive state
557funding for a facility for a spring training franchise, the
558office must verify that:
559     1.  The applicant is responsible for the acquisition,
560construction, management, or operation of the facility for a
561spring training franchise or holds title to the property on
562which the facility for a spring training franchise is located.
563     2.  The applicant has a certified copy of a signed
564agreement with a spring training franchise for the use of the
565facility for a term of at least 20 years. The agreement also
566must require the franchise to reimburse the state for state
567funds expended by an applicant under this section if the
568franchise relocates before the agreement expires. The agreement
569may be contingent on an award of funds under this section and
570other conditions precedent.
571     3.  The applicant has made a financial commitment to
572provide 50 percent or more of the funds required by an agreement
573for the acquisition, construction, or renovation of the facility
574for a spring training franchise. The commitment may be
575contingent upon an award of funds under this section and other
576conditions precedent.
577     4.  The applicant demonstrates that the facility for a
578spring training franchise will attract a paid attendance of at
579least 50,000 annually to the spring training games.
580     5.  The facility for a spring training franchise is located
581in a county that levies a tourist development tax under s.
582125.0104.
583     (b)  The office shall competitively evaluate applications
584for state funding of a facility for a spring training franchise.
585The total number of certifications may not exceed 10 at any
586time. The evaluation criteria must include, with priority given
587in descending order to, the following items:
588     1.  The anticipated effect on the economy of the local
589community where the spring training facility is to be built,
590including projections on paid attendance, local and state tax
591collections generated by spring training games, and direct and
592indirect job creation resulting from the spring training
593activities. Priority shall be given to applicants who can
594demonstrate the largest projected economic impact.
595     2.  The amount of the local matching funds committed to a
596facility relative to the amount of state funding sought, with
597priority given to applicants that commit the largest amount of
598local matching funds relative to the amount of state funding
599sought.
600     3.  The potential for the facility to serve multiple uses.
601     4.  The intended use of the funds by the applicant, with
602priority given to the funds being used to acquire a facility,
603construct a new facility, or renovate an existing facility.
604     5.  The length of time that a spring training franchise has
605been under an agreement to conduct spring training activities
606within an applicant's geographic location or jurisdiction, with
607priority given to applicants having agreements with the same
608franchise for the longest period of time.
609     6.  The length of time that an applicant's facility has
610been used by one or more spring training franchises, with
611priority given to applicants whose facilities have been in
612continuous use as facilities for spring training the longest.
613     7.  The term remaining on a lease between an applicant and
614a spring training franchise for a facility, with priority given
615to applicants having the shortest lease terms remaining.
616     8.  The length of time that a spring training franchise
617agrees to use an applicant's facility if an application is
618granted under this section, with priority given to applicants
619having agreements for the longest future use.
620     9.  The net increase of total active recreation space owned
621by the applicant after an acquisition of land for the facility,
622with priority given to applicants having the largest percentage
623increase of total active recreation space that will be available
624for public use.
625     10.  The location of the facility in a brownfield, an
626enterprise zone, a community redevelopment area, or other area
627of targeted development or revitalization included in an urban
628infill redevelopment plan, with priority given to applicants
629having facilities located in these areas.
630     (c)  Each applicant certified on or after July 1, 2010,
631shall enter into an agreement with the office that:
632     1.  Specifies the amount of the state incentive funding to
633be distributed.
634     2.  States the criteria that the certified applicant must
635meet in order to remain certified.
636     3.  States that the certified applicant is subject to
637decertification if the certified applicant fails to comply with
638this section or the agreement.
639     4.  States that the office may recover state incentive
640funds if the certified applicant is decertified.
641     5.  Specifies information that the certified applicant must
642report to the office.
643     6.  Includes any provision deemed prudent by the office.
644     (3)  USE OF FUNDS.-
645     (a)  A certified applicant may use funds provided under s.
646212.20(6)(d)6.b. only to:
647     1.  Serve the public purpose of acquiring, constructing,
648reconstructing, or renovating a facility for a spring training
649franchise.
650     2.  Pay or pledge for the payment of debt service on, or to
651fund debt service reserve funds, arbitrage rebate obligations,
652or other amounts payable with respect thereto, bonds issued for
653the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, or renovation of
654such facility, or for the reimbursement of such costs or the
655refinancing of bonds issued for such purposes.
656     3.  Assist in the relocation of a spring training franchise
657from one unit of local government to another only if the
658governing board of the current host local government by a
659majority vote agrees to relocation.
660     (b)  State funds awarded to a certified applicant for a
661facility for a spring training franchise may not be used to
662subsidize facilities that are privately owned, maintained, and
663used only by a spring training franchise.
664     (c)  The Department of Revenue may not distribute funds to
665an applicant certified on or after July 1, 2010, until it
666receives notice from the office that the certified applicant has
667encumbered funds under subparagraph (a)2.
668     (d)1.  All certified applicants must place unexpended state
669funds received pursuant to s. 212.20(6)(d)6.b. in a trust fund
670or separate account for use only as authorized in this section.
671     2.  A certified applicant may request that the Department
672of Revenue suspend further distributions of state funds made
673available under s. 212.20(6)(d)6.b. for 12 months after
674expiration of an existing agreement with a spring training
675franchise to provide the certified applicant with an opportunity
676to enter into a new agreement with a spring training franchise,
677at which time the distributions shall resume.
678     3.  The expenditure of state funds distributed to an
679applicant certified before July 1, 2010, must begin within 48
680months after the initial receipt of the state funds. In
681addition, the construction of, or capital improvements to, a
682spring training facility must be completed within 24 months
683after the project's commencement.
684     (4)  ANNUAL REPORTS.-On or before September 1 of each year,
685a certified applicant shall submit to the office a report that
686includes, but is not limited to:
687     (a)  A copy of its most recent annual audit.
688     (b)  A detailed report on all local and state funds
689expended to date on the project being financed under this
690section.
691     (c)  A copy of the contract between the certified local
692governmental entity and the spring training team.
693     (d)  A cost-benefit analysis of the team's impact on the
694community.
695     (e)  Evidence that the certified applicant continues to
696meet the criteria in effect when the applicant was certified.
697     (5)  DECERTIFICATION.-
698     (a)  The office shall decertify a certified applicant upon
699the request of the certified applicant.
700     (b)  The office shall decertify a certified applicant if
701the certified applicant does not:
702     1.  Have a valid agreement with a spring training
703franchise;
704     2.  Satisfy its commitment to provide local matching funds
705to the facility; or
706
707However, decertification proceedings against a local government
708certified before July 1, 2010, shall be delayed until 12 months
709after the expiration of the local government's existing
710agreement with a spring training franchise, and without a new
711agreement being signed, if the certified local government can
712demonstrate to the office that it is in active negotiations with
713a major league spring training franchise, other than the
714franchise that was the basis for the original certification.
715     (c)  A certified applicant has 60 days after it receives a
716notice of intent to decertify from the office to petition the
717office's director for review of the decertification. Within 45
718days after receipt of the request for review, the director must
719notify a certified applicant of the outcome of the review.
720     (d)  The office shall notify the Department of Revenue that
721a certified applicant is decertified within 10 days after the
722order of decertification becomes final. The Department of
723Revenue shall immediately stop the payment of any funds under
724this section that were not encumbered by the certified applicant
725under subparagraph (3)(a)2.
726     (e)  The office shall order a decertified applicant to
727repay all of the unencumbered state funds that the local
728government received under this section and any interest that
729accrued on those funds. The repayment must be made within 60
730days after the decertification order becomes final. These funds
731shall be deposited into the General Revenue Fund.
732     (f)  A local government as defined in s. 218.369 may not be
733decertified if it has paid or pledged for the payment of debt
734service on, or to fund debt service reserve funds, arbitrage
735rebate obligations, or other amounts payable with respect
736thereto, bonds issued for the acquisition, construction,
737reconstruction, or renovation of the facility for which the
738local government was certified, or for the reimbursement of such
739costs or the refinancing of bonds issued for the acquisition,
740construction, reconstruction, or renovation of the facility for
741which the local government was certified, or for the
742reimbursement of such costs or the refinancing of bonds issued
743for such purpose. This subsection does not preclude or restrict
744the ability of a certified local government to refinance,
745refund, or defease such bonds.
746     (6)  ADDITIONAL CERTIFICATIONS.-If the office decertifies a
747unit of local government, the office may accept applications for
748an additional certification. A unit of local government may not
749be certified for more than one spring training franchise at any
750time.
751     (7)  STRATEGIC PLANNING.-
752     (a)  The office shall request assistance from the Florida
753Sports Foundation and the Florida Grapefruit League Association
754to develop a comprehensive strategic plan to:
755     1.  Finance spring training facilities.
756     2.  Monitor and oversee the use of state funds awarded to
757applicants.
758     3.  Identify the financial impact that spring training has
759on the state and ways in which to maintain or improve that
760impact.
761     4.  Identify opportunities to develop public-private
762partnerships to engage in marketing activities and advertise
763spring training baseball.
764     5.  Identify efforts made by other states to maintain or
765develop partnerships with baseball spring training teams.
766     6.  Develop recommendations for the Legislature to sustain
767or improve this state's spring training tradition.
768     (b)  The office shall submit a copy of the strategic plan
769to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of
770the House of Representatives by December 31, 2010.
771     (8)  RULEMAKING.-The office shall adopt rules to implement
772the certification, decertification, and decertification review
773processes required by this section.
774     (9)  AUDITS.-The Auditor General may conduct audits as
775provided in s. 11.45 to verify that the distributions under this
776section are expended as required in this section. If the Auditor
777General determines that the distributions under this section are
778not expended as required by this section, the Auditor General
779shall notify the Department of Revenue, which may pursue
780recovery of the funds under the laws and rules governing the
781assessment of taxes.
782     Section 6.  Subsection (1) of section 288.1229, Florida
783Statutes, is amended to read:
784     288.1229  Promotion and development of sports-related
785industries and amateur athletics; direct-support organization;
786powers and duties.-
787     (1)  The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development
788may authorize a direct-support organization to assist the office
789in:
790     (a)  The promotion and development of the sports industry
791and related industries for the purpose of improving the economic
792presence of these industries in Florida.
793     (b)  The promotion of amateur athletic participation for
794the citizens of Florida and the promotion of Florida as a host
795for national and international amateur athletic competitions for
796the purpose of encouraging and increasing the direct and
797ancillary economic benefits of amateur athletic events and
798competitions.
799     (c)  The retention of professional sports franchises,
800including the spring training operations of Major League
801Baseball.
802     Section 7.  An agreement with a spring training franchise
803relocating from one local government to another local government
804shall be recognized as a valid agreement under this act if the
805Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development approved the
806continuing release of funds to the local government to which the
807franchise relocated before the effective date of this act. The
808Legislature recognizes the validity of the agreement and
809acknowledges the authority of the Office of Tourism, Trade, and
810Economic Development to provide for the continuing release of
811funds to the local government under the terms of s. 288.1162,
812Florida Statutes, which were in effect before the effective date
813of this act.
814     Section 8.  This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.


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