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       Florida Senate - 2010                             CS for SB 1856
       
       
       
       By the Committees on Commerce; and Commerce
       
       
       
       
       577-03096-10                                          20101856c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to the qualified target industry tax
    3         refund program; amending s. 288.106, F.S.; providing
    4         legislative findings and declarations for the tax
    5         refund program for qualified target industry
    6         businesses; revising the definitions of terms
    7         applicable to the program; establishing a schedule for
    8         the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development
    9         to review and revise the list of target industries and
   10         submit a report to the Governor and Legislature;
   11         revising the criteria for the Office of Tourism,
   12         Trade, and Economic Development and Enterprise
   13         Florida, Inc., to use in identifying target industry
   14         businesses; conforming cross-references to changes
   15         made by the act; requiring an application for
   16         certification as a qualified target industry business
   17         to include an estimate of the proportion of the
   18         machinery, equipment, and other resources that will be
   19         used in the applicant’s proposed operation in Florida
   20         and purchased by the applicant outside the state;
   21         requiring the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic
   22         Development to consider the state’s return on
   23         investment in evaluating applicants for the tax refund
   24         program; requiring the Office of Economic and
   25         Demographic Research to submit reports to the
   26         Legislature evaluating the calculation of the state’s
   27         return on investment for the program; requiring that
   28         additional provisions be included in tax refund
   29         agreements; redesignating the economic-stimulus
   30         exemption as the “economic recovery extension”;
   31         extending the date by which a qualified target
   32         industry business may request an economic recovery
   33         extension; authorizing the Office of Tourism, Trade,
   34         and Economic Development to waive the requirement for
   35         a business to annually provide proof of taxes paid if
   36         the business provides proof that it has paid certain
   37         taxes in amounts at least equal to the total amount of
   38         refunds for which the business is eligible; requiring
   39         the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development
   40         to conduct a review of certain qualified target
   41         industry businesses that have failed to complete their
   42         tax refund agreements and submit a report of its
   43         findings and recommendations to the Governor, the
   44         President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House
   45         of Representatives; extending the date by which
   46         businesses may apply to participate in the tax refund
   47         program for qualified target industry businesses;
   48         amending ss. 288.107 and 290.00677, F.S.; conforming
   49         cross-references to changes made by the act; providing
   50         an effective date.
   51  
   52  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   53  
   54         Section 1. Section 288.106, Florida Statutes, is amended,
   55  and subsection (2) of that section is reordered, to read:
   56         288.106 Tax refund program for qualified target industry
   57  businesses.—
   58         (1) LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND DECLARATIONS.—The Legislature
   59  finds that retaining and expanding existing businesses in
   60  Florida, encouraging the creation of new businesses in Florida,
   61  attracting new businesses from out of state, and generally
   62  providing conditions favorable for the growth of target
   63  industries creates high-quality, high-wage employment
   64  opportunities for the residents of this state and strengthens
   65  Florida’s economic foundation. The Legislature also finds that
   66  incentives that are narrowly focused in application and scope
   67  tend to be more effective at achieving the state’s economic
   68  development goals. Further, the Legislature finds that higher
   69  wage jobs reduce the state’s share of hidden costs such as
   70  public assistance and subsidized health care associated with
   71  low-wage jobs. Therefore, the Legislature declares that it is
   72  the policy of this state to encourage the growth of higher-wage
   73  jobs and a diverse economic base by providing state tax refunds
   74  to qualified target industry businesses that originate or expand
   75  in this state or that relocate to this state.
   76         (2)(1) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section:
   77         (a) “Account” means the Economic Development Incentives
   78  Account within the Economic Development Trust Fund established
   79  under s. 288.095.
   80         (c)(b) “Average private sector wage in the area” means the
   81  statewide private sector average wage or the average of all
   82  private sector wages and salaries in the county or in the
   83  standard metropolitan area in which the business is located.
   84         (d)(c) “Business” means an employing unit, as defined in s.
   85  443.036, which is registered for unemployment compensation
   86  purposes with the state agency providing unemployment tax
   87  collection services under contract with the Agency for Workforce
   88  Innovation through an interagency agreement pursuant to s.
   89  443.1316, or a subcategory or division of an employing unit
   90  which is accepted by the state agency providing unemployment tax
   91  collection services as a reporting unit.
   92         (e)(d) “Corporate headquarters business” means an
   93  international, national, or regional headquarters office of a
   94  multinational or multistate business enterprise or national
   95  trade association, whether separate from or connected with other
   96  facilities used by such business.
   97         (n)(e) “Office” means the Office of Tourism, Trade, and
   98  Economic Development.
   99         (g)(f) “Enterprise zone” means an area designated as an
  100  enterprise zone pursuant to s. 290.0065.
  101         (h)(g) “Expansion of an existing business” means the
  102  expansion of an existing Florida business by or through
  103  additions to real and personal property, resulting in a net
  104  increase in employment of not less than 10 percent at such
  105  business.
  106         (i)(h) “Fiscal year” means the fiscal year of the state.
  107         (j)(i) “Jobs” means full-time equivalent positions,
  108  including, not limited to, positions obtained from a temporary
  109  employment agency or employee leasing company or through a union
  110  agreement or co-employment under a professional employer
  111  organization agreement, which result as that term is consistent
  112  with terms used by the Agency for Workforce Innovation and the
  113  United States Department of Labor for purposes of unemployment
  114  compensation tax administration and employment estimation,
  115  resulting directly from a project in this state. The term does
  116  not include temporary construction jobs involved with the
  117  construction of facilities for the project or any jobs
  118  previously included in any application for tax refunds under s.
  119  288.1045 or this section.
  120         (k)(j) “Local financial support” means funding from local
  121  sources, public or private, which is paid to the Economic
  122  Development Trust Fund and which is equal to 20 percent of the
  123  annual tax refund for a qualified target industry business. A
  124  qualified target industry business may not provide, directly or
  125  indirectly, more than 5 percent of such funding in any fiscal
  126  year. The sources of such funding may not include, directly or
  127  indirectly, state funds appropriated from the General Revenue
  128  Fund or any state trust fund, excluding tax revenues shared with
  129  local governments pursuant to law.
  130         (l)(k) “Local financial support exemption option” means the
  131  option to exercise an exemption from the local financial support
  132  requirement available to any applicant whose project is located
  133  in a brownfield area or a rural community county with a
  134  population of 75,000 or fewer or a county with a population of
  135  125,000 or fewer which is contiguous to a county with a
  136  population of 75,000 or fewer. Any applicant that exercises this
  137  option is shall not be eligible for more than 80 percent of the
  138  total tax refunds allowed such applicant under this section.
  139         (m)(l) “New business” means a business that applies for the
  140  qualified target industry refund program before beginning
  141  operations which heretofore did not exist in this state, first
  142  beginning operations on a site located in this state and is a
  143  clearly separate legal entity from any other commercial or
  144  industrial operations owned by the same business.
  145         (o)(m) “Project” means the creation of a new business or
  146  expansion of an existing business.
  147         (f)(n) “Director” means the Director of the Office of
  148  Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development.
  149         (t)(o) “Target industry business” means a corporate
  150  headquarters business or any business that is engaged in one of
  151  the target industries identified pursuant to the following
  152  criteria developed by the office in consultation with Enterprise
  153  Florida, Inc.:
  154         1. Future growth.—Industry forecasts should indicate strong
  155  expectation for future growth in both employment and output,
  156  according to the most recent available data. Preference Special
  157  consideration should be given to businesses that export goods or
  158  services Florida’s growing access to international markets or to
  159  businesses that replace domestic and international replacing
  160  imports of goods or services.
  161         2. Stability.—The industry should not be subject to
  162  periodic layoffs, whether due to seasonality or sensitivity to
  163  volatile economic variables such as weather. The industry should
  164  also be relatively resistant to recession, so that the demand
  165  for products of this industry is not typically necessarily
  166  subject to decline during an economic downturn.
  167         3. High wage.—The industry should pay relatively high wages
  168  compared to statewide or area averages.
  169         4. Market and resource independent.—The location of
  170  industry businesses should not be dependent on Florida markets
  171  or resources as indicated by industry analysis, with the
  172  exception of businesses in the renewable-energy industry.
  173  Special consideration should be given to the development of
  174  strong industrial clusters which include defense and homeland
  175  security businesses.
  176         5. Industrial base diversification and strengthening.—The
  177  industry should contribute toward expanding or diversifying the
  178  state’s or area’s economic base, as indicated by analysis of
  179  employment and output shares compared to national and regional
  180  trends. Preference Special consideration should be given to
  181  industries that strengthen regional economies by adding value to
  182  basic products or building regional industrial clusters as
  183  indicated by industry analysis. Additionally, preference should
  184  be given to the development of strong industrial clusters that
  185  include defense and homeland security businesses.
  186         6. Economic benefits.—The industry is expected to should
  187  have strong positive impacts on or benefits to the state or and
  188  regional economies.
  189  
  190  The term does office, in consultation with Enterprise Florida,
  191  Inc., shall develop a list of such target industries annually
  192  and submit such list as part of the final agency legislative
  193  budget request submitted pursuant to s. 216.023(1). A target
  194  industry business may not include any business industry engaged
  195  in retail industry activities; any electrical utility company;
  196  any phosphate or other solid minerals severance, mining, or
  197  processing operation; any oil or gas exploration or production
  198  operation; or any business firm subject to regulation by the
  199  Division of Hotels and Restaurants of the Department of Business
  200  and Professional Regulation. By January 1 of every third year,
  201  beginning January 1, 2011, the office, in consultation with
  202  Enterprise Florida, Inc., economic development organizations,
  203  the State University System, local governments, employee and
  204  employer organizations, market analysts, and economists, shall
  205  review and, as appropriate, revise the list of such target
  206  industries and submit the list to the Governor, the President of
  207  the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
  208         (u)(p) “Taxable year” means taxable year as defined in s.
  209  220.03(1)(y).
  210         (p)(q) “Qualified target industry business” means a target
  211  industry business that has been approved by the director to be
  212  eligible for tax refunds pursuant to this section.
  213         (q) “Return on investment” means the gain in state revenues
  214  as a percentage of the state’s investment. The state’s
  215  investment includes state grants, tax exemptions, tax refunds,
  216  tax credits, and other state incentives. Return on investment is
  217  expressed mathematically as follows:
  218  
  219      Return on investment = (gain in state revenues - state’s     
  220                   investment)/state’s investment                  
  221  
  222         (r)“Rural county” means a county with a population of
  223  75,000 or fewer or a county with a population of 100,000 or
  224  fewer which is contiguous to a county with a population of
  225  75,000 or fewer.
  226         (r)(s) “Rural city” means a city having with a population
  227  of 10,000 or fewer less, or a city having with a population of
  228  greater than 10,000 but fewer less than 20,000 which has been
  229  determined by the office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic
  230  Development to have economic characteristics such as, but not
  231  limited to, a significant percentage of residents on public
  232  assistance, a significant percentage of residents with income
  233  below the poverty level, or a significant percentage of the
  234  city’s employment base in agriculture-related industries.
  235         (s)(t) “Rural community” means:
  236         1. A county having with a population of 75,000 or fewer.
  237         2. A county having with a population of 125,000 or fewer
  238  which is contiguous to a county having with a population of
  239  75,000 or fewer.
  240         3. A municipality within a county described in subparagraph
  241  1. or subparagraph 2.
  242  
  243  For purposes of this paragraph, population shall be determined
  244  in accordance with the most recent official estimate pursuant to
  245  s. 186.901.
  246         (b)(u) “Authorized local economic development agency” means
  247  a any public or private entity, including those defined in s.
  248  288.075, authorized by a county or municipality to promote the
  249  general business or industrial interests of that county or
  250  municipality.
  251         (3)(2) TAX REFUND; ELIGIBLE AMOUNTS.—
  252         (a) There shall be allowed, from the account, a refund to a
  253  qualified target industry business for the amount of eligible
  254  taxes certified by the director which were paid by the such
  255  business. The total amount of refunds for all fiscal years for
  256  each qualified target industry business must be determined
  257  pursuant to subsection (4) (3). The annual amount of a refund to
  258  a qualified target industry business must be determined pursuant
  259  to subsection (6) (5).
  260         (b)1. Upon approval by the director, a qualified target
  261  industry business shall be allowed tax refund payments equal to
  262  $3,000 times the number of jobs specified in the tax refund
  263  agreement under subparagraph (5)(a)1. (4)(a)1., or equal to
  264  $6,000 times the number of jobs if the project is located in a
  265  rural county or an enterprise zone.
  266         2.Further, A qualified target industry business shall be
  267  allowed additional tax refund payments equal to $1,000 times the
  268  number of jobs specified in the tax refund agreement under
  269  subparagraph (5)(a)1. (4)(a)1., if such jobs pay an annual
  270  average wage of at least 150 percent of the average area private
  271  sector wage in the area, or equal to $2,000 times the number of
  272  jobs if such jobs pay an annual average area wage of at least
  273  200 percent of the average area private sector wage in the area.
  274         (c) A qualified target industry business may not receive
  275  refund payments of more than 25 percent of the total tax refunds
  276  specified in the tax refund agreement under subparagraph
  277  (5)(a)1. (4)(a)1. in any fiscal year. Further, a qualified
  278  target industry business may not receive more than $1.5 million
  279  in refunds under this section in any single fiscal year, or more
  280  than $2.5 million in any single fiscal year if the project is
  281  located in an enterprise zone. A qualified target industry
  282  business may not receive more than $5 million in refund payments
  283  under this section in all fiscal years, or more than $7.5
  284  million if the project is located in an enterprise zone.Funds
  285  made available pursuant to this section may not be expended in
  286  connection with the relocation of a business from one community
  287  to another community in this state unless the Office of Tourism,
  288  Trade, and Economic Development determines that without such
  289  relocation the business will move outside this state or
  290  determines that the business has a compelling economic rationale
  291  for the relocation and that the relocation will create
  292  additional jobs.
  293         (d)(c) After entering into a tax refund agreement under
  294  subsection (5) (4), a qualified target industry business may:
  295         1. Receive refunds from the account for the following taxes
  296  due and paid by that business beginning with the first taxable
  297  year of the business which begins after entering into the
  298  agreement:
  299         a. Corporate income taxes under chapter 220.
  300         b. Insurance premium tax under s. 624.509.
  301         2. Receive refunds from the account for the following taxes
  302  due and paid by that business after entering into the agreement:
  303         a. Taxes on sales, use, and other transactions under
  304  chapter 212.
  305         b. Intangible personal property taxes under chapter 199.
  306         c. Emergency excise taxes under chapter 221.
  307         d. Excise taxes on documents under chapter 201.
  308         e. Ad valorem taxes paid, as defined in s. 220.03(1).
  309         f. State communications services taxes administered under
  310  chapter 202. This provision does not apply to the gross receipts
  311  tax imposed under chapter 203 and administered under chapter 202
  312  or the local communications services tax authorized under s.
  313  202.19.
  314  
  315  The addition of state communications services taxes administered
  316  under chapter 202 is remedial in nature and retroactive to
  317  October 1, 2001. The office may make supplemental tax refund
  318  payments to allow for tax refunds for communications services
  319  taxes paid by an eligible qualified target industry business
  320  after October 1, 2001.
  321         (e)(d) However, a qualified target industry business may
  322  not receive a refund under this section for any amount of
  323  credit, refund, or exemption granted to that business for any of
  324  the such taxes listed in paragraph (d). If a refund for such
  325  taxes is provided by the office, which taxes are subsequently
  326  adjusted by the application of any credit, refund, or exemption
  327  granted to the qualified target industry business other than as
  328  provided in this section, the business shall reimburse the
  329  account for the amount of that credit, refund, or exemption. A
  330  qualified target industry business shall notify and tender
  331  payment to the office within 20 days after receiving any credit,
  332  refund, or exemption other than one provided in this section.
  333         (f) Refunds made available pursuant to this section may not
  334  be expended in connection with the relocation of a business from
  335  one community to another community in this state unless the
  336  office determines that without such relocation the business will
  337  move outside this state, or determines that the business has a
  338  compelling economic rationale for the relocation and that the
  339  relocation will create additional jobs.
  340         (g)(e) A qualified target industry business that
  341  fraudulently claims a refund under this section:
  342         1. Is liable for repayment of the amount of the refund to
  343  the account, plus a mandatory penalty in the amount of 200
  344  percent of the tax refund which shall be deposited into the
  345  General Revenue Fund.
  346         2. Commits Is guilty of a felony of the third degree,
  347  punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
  348         (4)(3) APPLICATION AND APPROVAL PROCESS.—
  349         (a) To apply for certification as a qualified target
  350  industry business under this section, the business must file an
  351  application with the office before the business decides has made
  352  the decision to locate a new business in this state or before
  353  the business decides had made the decision to expand its an
  354  existing operations business in this state. The application must
  355  shall include, but need is not be limited to, the following
  356  information:
  357         1. The applicant’s federal employer identification number
  358  and, if applicable, the applicant’s state sales tax registration
  359  number.
  360         2. The proposed permanent location of the applicant’s
  361  facility in this state at which the project is or is to be
  362  located.
  363         3. A description of the type of business activity or
  364  product covered by the project, including a minimum of a five
  365  digit NAICS code for all activities included in the project. As
  366  used in this paragraph, “NAICS” means those classifications
  367  contained in the North American Industry Classification System,
  368  as published in 2007 by the Office of Management and Budget,
  369  Executive Office of the President, and updated periodically.
  370         4. The proposed number of net new full-time equivalent
  371  Florida jobs at the qualified target industry business as of
  372  December 31 of each year included in the project and the average
  373  wage of those jobs. If more than one type of business activity
  374  or product is included in the project, the number of jobs and
  375  average wage for those jobs must be separately stated for each
  376  type of business activity or product.
  377         5. The total number of full-time equivalent employees
  378  employed by the applicant in this state, if applicable.
  379         6. The anticipated commencement date of the project.
  380         7. A brief statement explaining concerning the role that
  381  the estimated tax refunds to be requested will play in the
  382  decision of the applicant to locate or expand in this state.
  383         8. An estimate of the proportion of the sales resulting
  384  from the project that will be made outside this state.
  385         9. An estimate of the proportion of the cost of the
  386  machinery and equipment, and any other resources necessary in
  387  the development of its product or service, which is to be used
  388  by the business in its Florida operations and which will be
  389  purchased outside this state.
  390         10.9. A resolution adopted by the governing board of the
  391  county or municipality in which the project will be located,
  392  which resolution recommends that the project certain types of
  393  businesses be approved as a qualified target industry business
  394  and specifies states that the commitments of local financial
  395  support necessary for the target industry business exist. In
  396  advance of the passage of such resolution, the office may also
  397  accept an official letter from an authorized local economic
  398  development agency that endorses the proposed target industry
  399  project and pledges that sources of local financial support for
  400  such project exist. For the purposes of making pledges of local
  401  financial support under this subsection, the authorized local
  402  economic development agency shall be officially designated by
  403  the passage of a one-time resolution by the local governing
  404  authority.
  405         11.10. Any additional information requested by the office.
  406         (b) To qualify for review by the office, the application of
  407  a target industry business must, at a minimum, establish the
  408  following to the satisfaction of the office:
  409         1.a. The jobs proposed to be created provided under the
  410  application, pursuant to subparagraph (a)4., must pay an
  411  estimated annual average wage equaling at least 115 percent of
  412  the average private sector wage in the area where the business
  413  is to be located or the statewide private sector average wage.
  414  In determining the average annual wage, the office shall include
  415  only new proposed jobs, and wages for existing jobs shall be
  416  excluded from this calculation.
  417         b. The office may waive the average wage requirement at the
  418  request of the local governing body recommending the project and
  419  Enterprise Florida, Inc. The director may waive the wage
  420  requirement may only be waived for a project located in a
  421  brownfield area designated under s. 376.80 or in a rural city,
  422  rural community, or county, or in an enterprise zone and only if
  423  when the merits of the individual project or the specific
  424  circumstances in the community in relationship to the project
  425  warrant such action. If the local governing body and Enterprise
  426  Florida, Inc., make such a recommendation, it must be
  427  transmitted in writing and the specific justification for the
  428  waiver recommendation must be explained. If the director elects
  429  to waive the wage requirement, the waiver must be stated in
  430  writing and the reasons for granting the waiver must be
  431  explained.
  432         2. The target industry business’s project must result in
  433  the creation of at least 10 jobs at the such project and, if an
  434  expansion of an existing business, must result in an a net
  435  increase in employment of at least 10 percent at the business.
  436  Notwithstanding the definition of the term “expansion of an
  437  existing business” in paragraph (1)(g), At the request of the
  438  local governing body recommending the project and Enterprise
  439  Florida, Inc., the office may waive this requirement for a
  440  business in a rural community or enterprise zone define an
  441  “expansion of an existing business” in a rural community or an
  442  enterprise zone as the expansion of a business resulting in a
  443  net increase in employment of less than 10 percent at such
  444  business if the merits of the individual project or the specific
  445  circumstances in the community in relationship to the project
  446  warrant such action. If the local governing body and Enterprise
  447  Florida, Inc., make such a request, the request must be
  448  transmitted in writing and the specific justification for the
  449  request must be explained. If the director elects to grant the
  450  request, the grant must be stated in writing and the reason for
  451  granting the request must be explained.
  452         3. The business activity or product for the applicant’s
  453  project is within an industry or industries that have been
  454  identified by the office as a target industry business to be
  455  high-value-added industries that contributes contribute to the
  456  area and to the economic growth of the state and the region in
  457  which it is located, that produces produce a higher standard of
  458  living for residents of this state in the new global economy, or
  459  that can be shown to make an equivalent contribution to the area
  460  and state’s economic progress. The director must approve
  461  requests to waive the wage requirement for brownfield areas
  462  designated under s. 376.80 unless it is demonstrated that such
  463  action is not in the public interest.
  464         (c) Each application meeting the requirements of paragraph
  465  (b) must be submitted to the office for determination of
  466  eligibility. The office shall review and evaluate each
  467  application based on, but not limited to, the following
  468  criteria:
  469         1. Expected contributions to the state economy, consistent
  470  with the state strategic economic development plan adopted by
  471  Enterprise Florida, Inc., taking into account the long-term
  472  effects of the project and of the applicant on the state
  473  economy.
  474         2. The return on investment of the proposed award of tax
  475  refunds under this section and the return on investment for
  476  state incentives proposed for the project. The Office of
  477  Economic and Demographic Research shall review and evaluate the
  478  methodology and model used to calculate the return on investment
  479  and report its findings by September 1 of every third year,
  480  beginning September 1, 2010, to the President of the Senate and
  481  the Speaker of the House of Representatives economic benefit of
  482  the jobs created by the project in this state, taking into
  483  account the cost and average wage of each job created.
  484         3. The amount of capital investment to be made by the
  485  applicant in this state.
  486         4. The local financial commitment and support for the
  487  project.
  488         5. The effect of the project on the unemployment rate in
  489  local community, taking into account the unemployment rate for
  490  the county where the project will be located.
  491         6. The effect of the award any tax refunds granted pursuant
  492  to this section on the viability of the project and the
  493  probability that the project would will be undertaken in this
  494  state if such tax refunds are granted to the applicant, taking
  495  into account the expected long-term commitment of the applicant
  496  to economic growth and employment in this state.
  497         7. The expected long-term commitment of the applicant to
  498  economic growth and employment to this state resulting from the
  499  project.
  500         8. A review of the business’s past activities in this state
  501  or other states, including whether such business has been
  502  subjected to criminal or civil fines and penalties. This
  503  subparagraph does not require the disclosure of confidential
  504  information.
  505         (d) Applications shall be reviewed and certified pursuant
  506  to s. 288.061. The office shall include in its review
  507  projections of the tax refunds the business would be eligible to
  508  receive in each fiscal year based on the creation and
  509  maintenance of the net new Florida jobs specified in
  510  subparagraph (a)4. as of December 31 of the preceding state
  511  fiscal year. If appropriate, the director shall enter into a
  512  written agreement with the qualified target industry business
  513  pursuant to subsection (5) (4).
  514         (e) The director may not certify any target industry
  515  business as a qualified target industry business if the value of
  516  tax refunds to be included in that letter of certification
  517  exceeds the available amount of authority to certify new
  518  businesses as determined in s. 288.095(3). However, if the
  519  commitments of local financial support represent less than 20
  520  percent of the eligible tax refund payments, or to otherwise
  521  preserve the viability and fiscal integrity of the program, the
  522  director may certify a qualified target industry business to
  523  receive tax refund payments of less than the allowable amounts
  524  specified in paragraph (3)(b) (2)(b). A letter of certification
  525  that approves an application must specify the maximum amount of
  526  tax refund that will be available to the qualified industry
  527  business in each fiscal year and the total amount of tax refunds
  528  that will be available to the business for all fiscal years.
  529         (f) This section does not create a presumption that an
  530  applicant shall receive any tax refunds under this section.
  531  However, the office may issue nonbinding opinion letters, upon
  532  the request of prospective applicants, as to the applicants’
  533  eligibility and the potential amount of refunds.
  534         (5)(4) TAX REFUND AGREEMENT.—
  535         (a) Each qualified target industry business must enter into
  536  a written agreement with the office which specifies, at a
  537  minimum:
  538         1. The total number of full-time equivalent jobs in this
  539  state that will be dedicated to the project, the average wage of
  540  those jobs, the definitions that will apply for measuring the
  541  achievement of these terms during the pendency of the agreement,
  542  and a time schedule or plan for when such jobs will be in place
  543  and active in this state.
  544         2. The maximum amount of tax refunds which the qualified
  545  target industry business is eligible to receive on the project
  546  and the maximum amount of a tax refund that the qualified target
  547  industry business is eligible to receive for each fiscal year,
  548  based on the job creation and maintenance schedule specified in
  549  subparagraph 1.
  550         3. That the office may review and verify the financial and
  551  personnel records of the qualified target industry business to
  552  ascertain whether that business is in compliance with this
  553  section.
  554         4. The date by which, in each fiscal year, the qualified
  555  target industry business may file a claim under subsection (6)
  556  (5) to be considered to receive a tax refund in the following
  557  fiscal year.
  558         5. That local financial support will be annually available
  559  and will be paid to the account. The office director may not
  560  enter into a written agreement with a qualified target industry
  561  business if the local financial support resolution is not passed
  562  by the local governing body authority within 90 days after the
  563  office he or she has issued the letter of certification under
  564  subsection (4) (3).
  565         6.That the office may conduct a review of the business to
  566  evaluate whether the business is continuing to contribute to the
  567  area’s or state’s economy.
  568         7.That in the event the business does not complete the
  569  agreement, the business shall provide the office with the
  570  reasons the business was unable to complete the agreement.
  571         (b) Compliance with the terms and conditions of the
  572  agreement is a condition precedent for the receipt of a tax
  573  refund each year. The failure to comply with the terms and
  574  conditions of the tax refund agreement results in the loss of
  575  eligibility for receipt of all tax refunds previously authorized
  576  under this section and the revocation by the director of the
  577  certification of the business entity as a qualified target
  578  industry business, unless the business is eligible to receive
  579  and elects to accept a prorated refund under paragraph (6)(e)
  580  (5)(d) or the office grants the business an economic recovery
  581  extension economic-stimulus exemption.
  582         1. A qualified target industry business may submit, in
  583  writing, a request to the office for an economic recovery
  584  extension economic-stimulus exemption. The request must provide
  585  quantitative evidence demonstrating how negative economic
  586  conditions in the business’s industry, the effects of the impact
  587  of a named hurricane or tropical storm, or specific acts of
  588  terrorism affecting the qualified target industry business have
  589  prevented the business from complying with the terms and
  590  conditions of its tax refund agreement.
  591         2. Upon receipt of a request under subparagraph 1., the
  592  director has shall have 45 days to notify the requesting
  593  business, in writing, if its extension exemption has been
  594  granted or denied. In determining if an extension exemption
  595  should be granted, the director shall consider the extent to
  596  which negative economic conditions in the requesting business’s
  597  industry have occurred in the state or the effects of the impact
  598  of a named hurricane or tropical storm or specific acts of
  599  terrorism affecting the qualified target industry business have
  600  prevented the business from complying with the terms and
  601  conditions of its tax refund agreement. The office shall
  602  consider current employment statistics for this state by
  603  industry, including whether the business’s industry had
  604  substantial job loss during the prior year, when determining
  605  whether an extension exemption shall be granted.
  606         3. As a condition for receiving a prorated refund under
  607  paragraph (6)(e) (5)(d) or an economic recovery extension
  608  economic-stimulus exemption under this paragraph, a qualified
  609  target industry business must agree to renegotiate its tax
  610  refund agreement with the office to, at a minimum, ensure that
  611  the terms of the agreement comply with current law and office
  612  procedures governing application for and award of tax refunds.
  613  Upon approving the award of a prorated refund or granting an
  614  economic recovery extension economic-stimulus exemption, the
  615  office shall renegotiate the tax refund agreement with the
  616  business as required by this subparagraph. When amending the
  617  agreement of a business receiving an economic recovery extension
  618  economic-stimulus exemption, the office may extend the duration
  619  of the agreement for a period not to exceed 2 years.
  620         4. A qualified target industry business may submit a
  621  request for an economic recovery extension economic-stimulus
  622  exemption to the office in lieu of any tax refund claim
  623  scheduled to be submitted after January 1, 2009, but before July
  624  1, 2012 2011.
  625         5. A qualified target industry business that receives an
  626  economic recovery extension economic-stimulus exemption may not
  627  receive a tax refund for the period covered by the exemption.
  628         (c) The agreement must be signed by the director and by an
  629  authorized officer of the qualified target industry business
  630  within 120 days after the issuance of the letter of
  631  certification under subsection (4) (3), but not before passage
  632  and receipt of the resolution of local financial support. The
  633  office may grant an extension of this period at the written
  634  request of the qualified target industry business.
  635         (d) The agreement must contain the following legend,
  636  clearly printed on its face in bold type of not less than 10
  637  points in size: “This agreement is neither a general obligation
  638  of the State of Florida, nor is it backed by the full faith and
  639  credit of the State of Florida. Payment of tax refunds is are
  640  conditioned on and subject to specific annual appropriations by
  641  the Florida Legislature of moneys sufficient to pay amounts
  642  authorized in section 288.106, Florida Statutes.”
  643         (6)(5) ANNUAL CLAIM FOR REFUND.—
  644         (a) To be eligible to claim any scheduled tax refund, a
  645  qualified target industry business that has entered into a tax
  646  refund agreement with the office under subsection (5) (4) must
  647  apply by January 31 of each fiscal year to the office for the
  648  tax refund scheduled to be paid from the appropriation for the
  649  fiscal year that begins on July 1 following the January 31
  650  claims-submission date. The office may, upon written request,
  651  grant a 30-day extension of the filing date.
  652         (b) The claim for refund by the qualified target industry
  653  business must include a copy of all receipts pertaining to the
  654  payment of taxes for which the refund is sought and data related
  655  to achievement of each performance item specified in the tax
  656  refund agreement. The amount requested as a tax refund may not
  657  exceed the amount specified for the relevant fiscal year in that
  658  agreement.
  659         (c) If the qualified target industry business provides the
  660  office with proof that in a single year it has paid an amount of
  661  state taxes, from the categories in paragraph (3)(d), which is
  662  at least equal to the total amount of tax refunds it may receive
  663  through successful completion of its qualified target industry
  664  agreement, the office may waive the requirement for proof of
  665  taxes paid in future years.
  666         (d)(c) A tax refund may not be approved for a qualified
  667  target industry business unless the required local financial
  668  support has been paid into the account for that refund. If the
  669  local financial support provided is less than 20 percent of the
  670  approved tax refund, the tax refund must be reduced. In no event
  671  may the tax refund exceed an amount that is equal to 5 times the
  672  amount of the local financial support received. Further, funding
  673  from local sources includes any tax abatement granted to that
  674  business under s. 196.1995 or the appraised market value of
  675  municipal or county land conveyed or provided at a discount to
  676  that business. The amount of any tax refund for such business
  677  approved under this section must be reduced by the amount of any
  678  such tax abatement granted or the value of the land granted; and
  679  the limitations in subsection (3) (2) and paragraph (4)(e)
  680  (3)(e) must be reduced by the amount of any such tax abatement
  681  or the value of the land granted. A report listing all sources
  682  of the local financial support shall be provided to the office
  683  when such support is paid to the account.
  684         (e)(d) A prorated tax refund, less a 5 percent 5-percent
  685  penalty, shall be approved for a qualified target industry
  686  business if provided all other applicable requirements have been
  687  satisfied and the business proves to the satisfaction of the
  688  director that:
  689         1. It has achieved at least 80 percent of its projected
  690  employment; and that
  691         2. The average wage paid by the business is at least 90
  692  percent of the average wage specified in the tax refund
  693  agreement, but in no case less than 115 percent of the average
  694  private sector wage in the area available at the time of
  695  certification, or 150 percent or 200 percent of the average
  696  private sector wage if the business requested the additional
  697  per-job tax refund authorized in paragraph (3)(b) (2)(b) for
  698  wages above those levels.
  699  
  700  The prorated tax refund shall be calculated by multiplying the
  701  tax refund amount for which the qualified target industry
  702  business would have been eligible, if all applicable
  703  requirements had been satisfied, by the percentage of the
  704  average employment specified in the tax refund agreement which
  705  was achieved, and by the percentage of the average wages
  706  specified in the tax refund agreement which was achieved.
  707         (f)(e) The director, with such assistance as may be
  708  required from the office, the Department of Revenue, or the
  709  Agency for Workforce Innovation, shall, by June 30 following the
  710  scheduled date for submission of the tax refund claim, specify
  711  by written order the approval or disapproval of the tax refund
  712  claim and, if approved, the amount of the tax refund that is
  713  authorized to be paid to the qualified target industry business
  714  for the annual tax refund. The office may grant an extension of
  715  this date on the request of the qualified target industry
  716  business for the purpose of filing additional information in
  717  support of the claim.
  718         (g)(f) The total amount of tax refund claims approved by
  719  the director under this section in any fiscal year must not
  720  exceed the amount authorized under s. 288.095(3).
  721         (h)(g) This section does not create a presumption that a
  722  tax refund claim will be approved and paid.
  723         (i)(h) Upon approval of the tax refund under paragraphs
  724  (c), (d), and (e), and (f), the Chief Financial Officer shall
  725  issue a warrant for the amount specified in the written order.
  726  If the written order is appealed, the Chief Financial Officer
  727  may not issue a warrant for a refund to the qualified target
  728  industry business until the conclusion of all appeals of that
  729  order.
  730         (7)(6) ADMINISTRATION.—
  731         (a) The office may is authorized to verify information
  732  provided in any claim submitted for tax credits under this
  733  section with regard to employment and wage levels or the payment
  734  of the taxes to the appropriate agency or authority, including
  735  the Department of Revenue, the Agency for Workforce Innovation,
  736  or any local government or authority.
  737         (b) To facilitate the process of monitoring and auditing
  738  applications made under this program, the office may provide a
  739  list of qualified target industry businesses to the Department
  740  of Revenue, to the Agency for Workforce Innovation, or to any
  741  local government or authority. The office may request the
  742  assistance of those entities with respect to monitoring jobs,
  743  wages, and the payment of the taxes listed in subsection (3)
  744  (2).
  745         (c) Funds specifically appropriated for the tax refund
  746  program for qualified target industry businesses may not be used
  747  by the office for any purpose other than the payment of tax
  748  refunds authorized by this section.
  749         (d)Beginning with tax refund agreements signed after July
  750  1, 2010, the office shall attempt to ascertain the causes for
  751  any business’s failure to complete its agreement and shall
  752  report its findings and recommendations to the Governor, the
  753  President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of
  754  Representatives. The report shall be submitted by December 1 of
  755  each year beginning in 2011.
  756         (7)Notwithstanding paragraphs (4)(a) and (5)(c), the
  757  office may approve a waiver of the local financial support
  758  requirement for a business located in any of the following
  759  counties in which businesses received emergency loans
  760  administered by the office in response to the named hurricanes
  761  of 2004: Bay, Brevard, Charlotte, DeSoto, Escambia, Flagler,
  762  Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Indian River, Lake, Lee,
  763  Martin, Okaloosa, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Polk,
  764  Putnam, Santa Rosa, Seminole, St. Lucie, Volusia, and Walton. A
  765  waiver may be granted only if the office determines that the
  766  local financial support cannot be provided or that doing so
  767  would effect a demonstrable hardship on the unit of local
  768  government providing the local financial support. If the office
  769  grants a waiver of the local financial support requirement, the
  770  state shall pay 100 percent of the refund due to an eligible
  771  business. The waiver shall apply for tax refund applications
  772  made for fiscal years 2004-2005, 2005-2006, and 2006-2007.
  773         (8) EXPIRATION.—An applicant may not be certified as
  774  qualified under this section after June 30, 2015 2010. A tax
  775  refund agreement existing on that date shall continue in effect
  776  in accordance with its terms.
  777         Section 2. Paragraph (e) of subsection (1), subsection (2),
  778  paragraphs (a) and (d) of subsection (4), and paragraph (b) of
  779  subsection (5) of section 288.107, Florida Statutes, are amended
  780  to read:
  781         288.107 Brownfield redevelopment bonus refunds.—
  782         (1) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section:
  783         (e) “Eligible business” means:
  784         1. A qualified target industry business as defined in s.
  785  288.106(2) s. 288.106(1)(o); or
  786         2. A business that can demonstrate a fixed capital
  787  investment of at least $2 million in mixed-use business
  788  activities, including multiunit housing, commercial, retail, and
  789  industrial in brownfield areas, or at least $500,000 in
  790  brownfield areas that do not require site cleanup, and which
  791  provides benefits to its employees.
  792         (2) BROWNFIELD REDEVELOPMENT BONUS REFUND.—Bonus refunds
  793  shall be approved by the office as specified in the final order
  794  issued by the director and allowed from the account as follows:
  795         (a) A bonus refund of $2,500 shall be allowed to any
  796  qualified target industry business as defined by s. 288.106 for
  797  each new Florida job created in a brownfield area which is
  798  claimed on the qualified target industry business’s annual
  799  refund claim authorized in s. 288.106(6) s. 288.106(5).
  800         (b) A bonus refund of up to $2,500 shall be allowed to any
  801  other eligible business as defined in subparagraph (1)(e)2. for
  802  each new Florida job created in a brownfield which is claimed
  803  under an annual claim procedure similar to the annual refund
  804  claim authorized in s. 288.106(6) s. 288.106(5). The amount of
  805  the refund shall be equal to 20 percent of the average annual
  806  wage for the jobs created.
  807         (4) PAYMENT OF BROWNFIELD REDEVELOPMENT BONUS REFUNDS.—
  808         (a) To be eligible to receive a bonus refund for new
  809  Florida jobs created in a brownfield, a business must have been
  810  certified as a qualified target industry business under s.
  811  288.106 or eligible business as defined in paragraph (1)(e) and
  812  must have indicated on the qualified target industry tax refund
  813  application form submitted in accordance with s. 288.106(4) s.
  814  288.106(3) or other similar agreement for other eligible
  815  business as defined in paragraph (1)(e) that the project for
  816  which the application is submitted is or will be located in a
  817  brownfield and that the business is applying for certification
  818  as a qualified brownfield business under this section, and must
  819  have signed a qualified target industry tax refund agreement
  820  with the office which indicates that the business has been
  821  certified as a qualified target industry business located in a
  822  brownfield and specifies the schedule of brownfield
  823  redevelopment bonus refunds that the business may be eligible to
  824  receive in each fiscal year.
  825         (d) After entering into a tax refund agreement as provided
  826  in s. 288.106 or other similar agreement for other eligible
  827  businesses as defined in paragraph (1)(e), an eligible business
  828  may receive brownfield redevelopment bonus refunds from the
  829  account pursuant to s. 288.106(3)(d) s. 288.106(2)(c).
  830         (5) ADMINISTRATION.—
  831         (b) To facilitate the process of monitoring and auditing
  832  applications made under this program, the office may provide a
  833  list of qualified target industry businesses to the Department
  834  of Revenue, to the Agency for Workforce Innovation, to the
  835  Department of Environmental Protection, or to any local
  836  government authority. The office may request the assistance of
  837  those entities with respect to monitoring the payment of the
  838  taxes listed in s. 288.106(3) s. 288.106(2).
  839         Section 3. Section 290.00677, Florida Statutes, is amended
  840  to read:
  841         290.00677 Rural enterprise zones; special qualifications.—
  842         (1) Notwithstanding the enterprise zone residency
  843  requirements set out in s. 212.096(1)(c), eligible businesses as
  844  defined by s. 212.096(1)(a), located in rural enterprise zones
  845  as defined by s. 290.004, may receive the basic minimum credit
  846  provided under s. 212.096 for creating a new job and hiring a
  847  person residing within the jurisdiction of a rural community
  848  county, as defined by s. 288.106(2) s. 288.106(1)(r). All other
  849  provisions of s. 212.096, including, but not limited to, those
  850  relating to the award of enhanced credits, apply to such
  851  businesses.
  852         (2) Notwithstanding the enterprise zone residency
  853  requirements set out in s. 220.03(1)(q), businesses as defined
  854  by s. 220.03(1)(c), located in rural enterprise zones as defined
  855  in s. 290.004, may receive the basic minimum credit provided
  856  under s. 220.181 for creating a new job and hiring a person
  857  residing within the jurisdiction of a rural community county, as
  858  defined by s. 288.106(2) s. 288.106(1)(r). All other provisions
  859  of s. 220.181, including, but not limited to, those relating to
  860  the award of enhanced credits apply to such businesses.
  861         Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2010.

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