Legislation that closes an affordable housing tax exemption loophole passed the Senate this week and heads to the Governor for signature. SB 928 by Senator Simpson, which is this year’s affordable housing package, includes the loophole fix that will save local governments up to $140 million in recurring revenue by FY17/18.   

Representative Ray’s preemption bill (HB 319) was passed by the Senate this week and heads to the Governor for signature. The bill forces counties with alternatives to traditional transportation concurrency to allow developers to use proportionate share funding process.  Transportation bills continued on their way through the legislative process with HB 7127 rolled to third reading and SB 1132 on Special Order for Monday. FAC will monitor these bills closely as the Session moves into its last week.

Read more on Growth and Transportation bills...

Transportation Concurrency
HB 319 (R. Ray)/SB 972 (S. Hukill)

  • Summary: 
  • 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:  
      • SB 972 rolled to 3rd reading.
      • HB 319 rolled to 3rd reading.

Growth Management/Impact Fee/Concurrency
HB 321 (R. La Rosa)/SB 1716 (S. Garcia)

  • Summary: 
    • As amended, HB 1716 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.
  • Status:
    • HB 321 rolled to 3rd reading
    • SB 1716 is still in its last committee, Senate Education.

University Development Agreements
HB 7149 (Appropriations Committee, Rep. McKeel)

  • Summary:    The bill eliminates the requirement that universities enter into campus development agreements with local governments. The campus master plan would be required to identify the level-of-service standard established by the local government and the entity that would provide the service to the campus. Universities could begin constructing a campus development without having to pay the impact costs.
  • Status: HB 7149 passed the full House on 4/18/13. The Senate received the bill and referred to four committees. 

Manufacturing Competitiveness Act
HB 357 (R. Boyd)/SB 582 (S. Galvano)

  • Summary: 
    • 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. The Department of Economic Opportunity is directed to establish, facilitate, and oversee the process with the cooperation of any involved state agencies.
  • Status:
    • HB 357 in Senate messages
    • SB 582 on Special Order for Monday, April 29. 

Transportation Bills
HB 7127 (R. Artiles)/SB 1132 (S. Brandes)

  • Summary: Primary issues relating to FDOT operations of interest to counties:  
  • Sound Mitigation Requirements on Counties
    • This provision has now been eliminated from both bills.
    • Regional Tollway Authorities
      • Both bills authorize creation of regional tollway authorities. Both create Escambia- Santa Rosa Transportation Finance Authority.
      • 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
          • Both bills remove this language. House bill calls for a study.  
          • Rail Corridors/Local Reg. Exemption
            • The House amended the bill to include agreed-to language (by FAC and FLC) on locating “communication facilities” along existing and new High Speed Rail corridors. In short, while locals are preempted, locals have a commenting roll in the permit review process.  The same language is anticipated to be on Senate bill next week.
  • Status:  
  • HB 7127 rolled to 3rd reading
  • SB 1132 on Special Order for Monday, April 29.    
  • As usual, these bills will become long trains for legislation that has died in other places. The Transportation bill is usually one of the last bills to pass. FAC will monitor closely.

Affordable Housing
SB 928 (S. Simpson)/HB 437 (R. Davis)

  • 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 6SB 928, except it does not include tax loophole fix.
    • Status:
    • HB 437 passed the House on 4/24/13 and was referred in the Senate. It was then substituted for SB 928 and passed unanimously in the Senate on 4/26/13. The bill will now go to the Governor for signature.  

Affordable Housing – (Property Tax Loophole)
SB 740 (S. Simpson)/HB 921 (R. Renuart)

  • Summary
  • Stand-alone bills to close the affordable housing tax exemption loophole.
    • Status:
    • HB 921 is on second reading.
    • SB 740 is stuck in committee
    • SB 1830 (Tax Package) passed the Senate unanimously on 4/25/13.
    • HB 7159 (Tax Package) is on second reading.  

Funding from the National Mortgage Settlement
HB 7111 (Appropriations Committee, R. Hooper)/SB 1852 (Appropriations)

  • Summary
  • 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 bill workshopped in week four with their version allocating 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
      • foreclosure;
      • $2 million for a consumer awareness promotional campaign; and
      • $3 million for administrative costs.
  • Status:
  • SB 1852 was temporarily postponed on second reading; no action on HB 7111 and likely Conference Issue 
    • Budget Note:  House has swept $184 million from state and local housing trust fund (SHIP and SAIL), while Senate has swept $200 million.

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.

HB 1061 (R. Artiles)

  • Summary:
  • 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)

  • Summary:
  • 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.
    • Status:
    • Bill was significantly amended in committee and essentially restores what current law provides, save for codifying yellow light standards based on nationally accepted standards.  The REC is taking up the bill on Friday, April 12.

Internet Cafes
HB 155 (R. Trujillo)/SB 1030 (S. Thrasher)

  • Summary:
  • Clarifies current law regarding charitable drawings, game promotions, and amusement machines; bans 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. SB 1030 passed its final committee in Week 5. HB 155 passed the Senate on April 4 and was signed into law by the Governor on April 10.