Despite early signs to leave growth management alone for the 2013 session, the House has fast tracked its concurrency bill, HB 319 by Rep. Ray. The bill essentially eliminates the distinction between counties that implement traditional concurrency and those that opt to implement alternative systems like mobility plans. With respect to the latter, in the future, any county that elects to move toward a mobility planning system has no choice but to avail developers to the much-maligned proportionate share process. HB 319 now moves to the floor, while its Senate companion, SB 928 has two more committee stops.
In addition to HB 319, the House Appropriations Committee surprised many when it released its committee bill on education capital outlay. The bill, APC4, includes a provision that eliminates the requirement that universities enter into development agreements with their host local governments. In effect, a university will no longer be responsible for any off-site impacts associated with transportation, stormwater, and other related impacts. The measure was opposed in committee by FAC and the Florida League of Cities but received overwhelming support by committee members and representatives from the state universities. The bill now moves to the floor. It is unclear whether the Senate will introduce a similar measure.
In the area of housing and property tax, there are very strong signs the Legislature will close a loophole that allows for-profit affordable housing developers to legally evade property taxes. Several bills in both chambers have language to fix the loophole. They include HB 921 by Rep. Renuart. That bill passed it last committee in week 4 and now moves to the floor. The language has also been included the draft House ad valorem tax package. In the Senate, the language is in the affordable Housing bill, SB 928, and in the ad valorem tax package. Both bills are moving with no opposition.
Transportation and Growth Management
- Bill forces counties that have an alternative to traditional transportation concurrency (i.e., Mobility Plan, Mobility Fees, Timing and Phasing), to allow developers to use the proportionate share funding process.
- The effect of that process means that a county can never deny or delay approval of development project when it has failing roads and the developer agrees to make a partial payment for road improvements. Unless additional funds are available, adequate improvements may never be made.
- Status: House bill passed the Tourism and Economic Development Committee in week 2 and the House Transportation Committee in week 3. SB 972 also passed unanimously in Community Affairs. FAC opposed both the bills. HB 319 cleared its last committee of reference in week 4
- As amended, HB 1726 prohibits local governments from applying transportation concurrency, transportation concurrency impact fees, and transportation proportionate share for three years, beginning July 1, 2013. The prohibition only applies to non-residential development of 6,000 SF and below. A county may, however, apply any of the measures by simply majority vote.
- Three House referrals and four Senate referrals. House bill passed first of three committees 3/19/13.
- Creates a coordinated state development and permit approval process for manufacturers that are developing or expanding within the jurisdiction of a local government that has a local manufacturing development program. DEO is directed to establish, facilitate, and oversee the process with the cooperation of any involved state agencies.
- Status: Three House referrals; passed first committee 3/19; four Senate referrals.
PCB THSS2 (Rep. Artiles)/SB 1132 (Sen. Brandes)
- Summary: Primary issues relating to FDOT operations of interest to counties:
- Sound Mitigation Requirements on Counties
- House Bill: was amended to eliminate the requirement that counties adopt sound mitigation standards and regulations into their comprehensive plans that are applicable to proposed development projects adjacent to FDOT highways. The language remains in the Senate bill.
- Senate Bill: retains this requirement.
- Regional Tollway Authorities
- House: eliminates this provision
- Senate: allows for the creation of regional toll authorities by a county or two or more counties. Designates 3 toll authorities: Northwest Florida (Escambia and Santa Rosa); Okaloosa-Bay (Okaloosa, Walton, Bay); Suncoast (Citrus, Levy, Marion, Alachua)
- Metropolitan Planning Organizations
- House/ Senate: Allows an increase in MPO membership – from 19 members to 25 – if an MPO includes a new urbanized area; or, there is the consolidation of two or more MPOs.
- Parking Meters
- House: requires local governments to share parking meter revenues with the state if they are collected within the right-of-way limits of state road.
- Senate: traveling amendment eliminates this provision.
- Status: Senate bill passed Transportation Committee during first week of session. House bill passed Transportation Committee during week 2. SB 1332 passed Community Affairs in week three. For now, only a few issues affect counties – namely, sound mitigation requirements and the rail corridor exemption. Initially, neither bill sponsor was interested in modifying language but, more recently, both have indicated a willingness to look at alternatives.
- Summary: SB 928 represents this year’s affordable housing package for the Florida Housing Finance Corporation.
- Bill does not address funding issues for the State/Local SHIP programs, which will be addressed in during the budgeting process. (Worth noting that the Governor has budgeted $50 million for SHIP.)
- Closes loophole created in 2011 that allows for-profit affordable housing developers to transfer ownership to a non-profit entity for the purpose of receiving an exemption from ad valorem taxes.
- HB 237 is identical to SB 928, except it does not include tax loophole fix.
- Status: HB 437 has passed its first committee of reference. SB 928 passed the Community Affairs Committee with no opposition from the committee or the public. Revenue Estimating reported that closing the loophole will save local governments $117 million in FY 13/14 and over $140 million by FY 17/18. SB 928 passed Senate Finance & Tax in week four and now heads to Appropriations.
- Stand-alone bills to close affordable housing tax exemption loophole.
- Status: HB 921 passed the Toursim and Economic Development Committee in week two, Finance and Tax in week three and is now ready for the floor. SB 740 passed Community Affairs week two. Note that, in addition to the stand alone bills, both House and Senate Finance & Tax committees have draft language that includes the loophole language.
Funding from the National Mortgage Settlement
PCB APC 13-01
- PCB filed by House Appropriations Committee relating to the National Mortgage Settlement with Bank of America and others.
- State to receive $334 million; Attorney General and Legislative Budget Committee have already designated the distribution of $134 million.
- This PCB addresses the remaining $200 million.
- General breakdown:
- $50 million to SAIL (affordable apartments)
- $45 million for down payment assistance (but no SHIP)
- $35 million Habitat for Humanity
- $20 million DCF emergency shelters
- $15 million Florida Prepaid Dorm Contracts
- $13 million state courts – foreclosures
- $6.7 million clerk of courts
- $5.0 million legal aid
- $3.0 million FHFC admin.
- State and Local SHIP have not been funded in recent years and the trust funds were swept. Based on House allocations, $182 million is being swept, indicating that while some down payment assistance is being provided in the PCB, it is not to the local SHIP.
- Senate version workshopped in week four and allocates monies as follows:
- $70 million for the State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) program;
- $65 million for the State Apartment Incentive Loan Program (SAIL);
- $10 million for housing for homeless persons;
- $40 million for the State Courts System for the foreclosure cases backlog;
- $10 million for legal aid services for low and moderate-income homeowners facing
- $2 million for a consumer awareness promotional campaign; and
- $3 million for administrative costs.
Red Light Cameras
HB 4011 (R. Campbell)/No Senate Companion
- Summary: Prohibits counties and cities from using red light cameras.
- Status: Bill narrowly passed its first committee of reference.
- Outlook: Not dead but probably out.
HB 1061 (R. Artiles)
- Prohibits citations for turning right on red lights;
- Requires citations be sent certified mail;
- Provides prescriptive changes to yellow light signals;
- Primary red light camera bill in the House.
- Status: Bill passed its first committee along party lines.
SB 1342 (S. Abruzzo)
- Prohibits citations for turning right on red lights;
- Requires citations be sent certified mail;
- Provides prescriptive changes to yellow light signals
- Primary red light camera bill in the Senate.
- Bill was significantly amended in committee and essentially restores what current law provides, save for codifying yellow light standards based on nationally accepted standards.
- Clarifies current law regarding charitable drawings, game promotions, and amusement machines.
- Has the effect of banning so-called internet cafes that don’t meet criteria provided in the bill.
- Status: HB 155 passed the full House on 3/22 and SB 1030 was passed by the Senate Select Committee on gaming and heads to its final committee (Rules) on 4/2.
- Eliminates the exception in law that allows counties to carry out public works projects using their own employees when the cost of work exceeds $300,000.
- Eliminates the compromise language worked out between the contracting industry and FAC/FLC.
- Senate bill was temporarily postponed in the Community Affairs Committee in week two. HB 687 passed out of Gov Operations in week four. FAC is working with the sponsor and stakeholders on revised language.