338.231 Turnpike tolls, fixing; pledge of tolls and other revenues.—The department shall at all times fix, adjust, charge, and collect such tolls and amounts for the use of the turnpike system as are required in order to provide a fund sufficient with other revenues of the turnpike system to pay the cost of maintaining, improving, repairing, and operating such turnpike system; to pay the principal of and interest on all bonds issued to finance or refinance any portion of the turnpike system as the same become due and payable; and to create reserves for all such purposes.
(1) Notwithstanding any other law, the department may defer the scheduled July 1, 1993, toll rate increase on the Homestead Extension of the Florida Turnpike until July 1, 1995. The department may also advance funds to the Turnpike General Reserve Trust Fund to replace estimated lost revenues resulting from this deferral. The amount advanced must be repaid within 12 years from the date of advance; however, the repayment is subordinate to all other debt financing of the turnpike system outstanding at the time repayment is due.
(2) The department shall publish a proposed change in the toll rate for the use of an existing toll facility, in the manner provided for in s. 120.54, which will provide for public notice and the opportunity for a public hearing before the adoption of the proposed rate change. When the department is evaluating a proposed turnpike toll project under s. 338.223 and has determined that there is a high probability that the project will pass the test of economic feasibility predicated on proposed toll rates, the toll rate that is proposed to be charged after the project is constructed must be adopted during the planning and project development phase of the project, in the manner provided for in s. 120.54, including public notice and the opportunity for a public hearing. For such a new project, the toll rate becomes effective upon the opening of the project to traffic.
(3)(a) For the period July 1, 1998, through June 30, 2017, the department shall, to the maximum extent feasible, program sufficient funds in the tentative work program such that the percentage of turnpike toll and bond financed commitments in Miami-Dade County, Broward County, and Palm Beach County as compared to total turnpike toll and bond financed commitments shall be at least 90 percent of the share of net toll collections attributable to users of the turnpike system in Miami-Dade County, Broward County, and Palm Beach County as compared to total net toll collections attributable to users of the turnpike system. This subsection does not apply when the application of such requirements would violate any covenant established in a resolution or trust indenture relating to the issuance of turnpike bonds. The department may at any time for economic considerations establish lower temporary toll rates for a new or existing toll facility for a period not to exceed 1 year, after which the toll rates adopted pursuant to s. 120.54 shall become effective.
(b) The department shall also fix, adjust, charge, and collect such amounts needed to cover the costs of administering the different toll collection and payment methods, and types of accounts being offered and used, in the manner provided for in s. 120.54 which will provide for public notice and the opportunity for a public hearing before adoption. Such amounts may stand alone, be incorporated in a toll rate structure, or be a combination of the two.
(4) When bonds are outstanding which have been issued to finance or refinance any turnpike project, the tolls and all other revenues derived from the turnpike system and pledged to such bonds shall be set aside as may be provided in the resolution authorizing the issuance of such bonds or the trust agreement securing the same. The tolls or other revenues or other moneys so pledged and thereafter received by the department are immediately subject to the lien of such pledge without any physical delivery thereof or further act. The lien of any such pledge is valid and binding as against all parties having claims of any kind in tort or contract or otherwise against the department irrespective of whether such parties have notice thereof. Neither the resolution nor any trust agreement by which a pledge is created need be filed or recorded except in the records of the department.
(5) In each fiscal year while any of the bonds of the Broward County Expressway Authority series 1984 and series 1986-A remain outstanding, the department is authorized to pledge revenues from the turnpike system to the payment of principal and interest of such series of bonds and the operation and maintenance expenses of the Sawgrass Expressway, to the extent gross toll revenues of the Sawgrass Expressway are insufficient to make such payments. The terms of an agreement relative to the pledge of turnpike system revenue will be negotiated with the parties of the 1984 and 1986 Broward County Expressway Authority lease-purchase agreements, and subject to the covenants of those agreements. The agreement must establish that the Sawgrass Expressway is subject to the planning, management, and operating control of the department limited only by the terms of the lease-purchase agreements. The department shall provide for the payment of operation and maintenance expenses of the Sawgrass Expressway until such agreement is in effect. This pledge of turnpike system revenues is subordinate to the debt service requirements of any future issue of turnpike bonds, the payment of turnpike system operation and maintenance expenses, and subject to any subsequent resolution or trust indenture relating to the issuance of such turnpike bonds.
(6) The use and disposition of revenues pledged to bonds are subject to ss. 338.22-338.241 and such regulations as the resolution authorizing the issuance of the bonds or such trust agreement may provide.
History.—s. 12, ch. 28128, 1953; ss. 23, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 84-276; s. 193, ch. 84-309; s. 9, ch. 88-286; s. 16, ch. 90-136; s. 57, ch. 93-164; s. 22, ch. 97-280; s. 131, ch. 99-13; s. 96, ch. 99-385; s. 37, ch. 2007-196; s. 69, ch. 2008-4; s. 16, ch. 2009-85.