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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Title XIV
TAXATION AND FINANCE
Chapter 196
EXEMPTION
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F.S. 196.1979
1196.1979 County and municipal affordable housing property exemption.
(1)(a) Notwithstanding ss. 196.195 and 196.196, the board of county commissioners of a county or the governing body of a municipality may adopt an ordinance to exempt those portions of property used to provide affordable housing meeting the requirements of this section. Such property is considered property used for a charitable purpose. To be eligible for the exemption, the portions of property:
1. Must be used to house natural persons or families whose annual household income:
a. Is greater than 30 percent but not more than 60 percent of the median annual adjusted gross income for households within the metropolitan statistical area or, if not within a metropolitan statistical area, within the county in which the person or family resides; or
b. Does not exceed 30 percent of the median annual adjusted gross income for households within the metropolitan statistical area or, if not within a metropolitan statistical area, within the county in which the person or family resides;
2. Must be within a multifamily project containing 50 or more residential units, at least 20 percent of which are used to provide affordable housing that meets the requirements of this section;
3. Must be rented for an amount no greater than the amount as specified by the most recent multifamily rental programs income and rent limit chart posted by the corporation and derived from the Multifamily Tax Subsidy Projects Income Limits published by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development or 90 percent of the fair market value rent as determined by a rental market study meeting the requirements of subsection (4), whichever is less;
4. May not have been cited for code violations on three or more occasions in the 24 months before the submission of a tax exemption application;
5. May not have any cited code violations that have not been properly remedied by the property owner before the submission of a tax exemption application; and
6. May not have any unpaid fines or charges relating to the cited code violations. Payment of unpaid fines or charges before a final determination on a property’s qualification for an exemption under this section will not exclude such property from eligibility if the property otherwise complies with all other requirements for the exemption.
(b) Qualified property may receive an ad valorem property tax exemption of:
1. Up to 75 percent of the assessed value of each residential unit used to provide affordable housing if fewer than 100 percent of the multifamily project’s residential units are used to provide affordable housing meeting the requirements of this section.
2. Up to 100 percent of the assessed value if 100 percent of the multifamily project’s residential units are used to provide affordable housing meeting the requirements of this section.
(c) The board of county commissioners of the county or the governing body of the municipality, as applicable, may choose to adopt an ordinance that exempts property used to provide affordable housing for natural persons or families meeting the income limits of sub-subparagraph (a)1.a., natural persons or families meeting the income limits of sub-subparagraph (a)1.b., or both.
(2) If a residential unit that in the previous year qualified for the exemption under this section and was occupied by a tenant is vacant on January 1, the vacant unit may qualify for the exemption under this section if the use of the unit is restricted to providing affordable housing that would otherwise meet the requirements of this section and a reasonable effort is made to lease the unit to eligible persons or families.
(3) An ordinance granting the exemption authorized by this section must:
(a) Be adopted under the procedures for adoption of a nonemergency ordinance by a board of county commissioners specified in chapter 125 or by a municipal governing body specified in chapter 166.
(b) Designate the local entity under the supervision of the board of county commissioners or governing body of a municipality which must develop, receive, and review applications for certification and develop notices of determination of eligibility.
(c) Require the property owner to apply for certification by the local entity in order to receive the exemption. The application for certification must be on a form provided by the local entity designated pursuant to paragraph (b) and include all of the following:
1. The most recently completed rental market study meeting the requirements of subsection (4).
2. A list of the units for which the property owner seeks an exemption.
3. The rent amount received by the property owner for each unit for which the property owner seeks an exemption. If a unit is vacant and qualifies for an exemption under subsection (2), the property owner must provide evidence of the published rent amount for the vacant unit.
(d) Require the local entity to verify and certify property that meets the requirements of the ordinance as qualified property and forward the certification to the property owner and the property appraiser. If the local entity denies the exemption, it must notify the applicant and include reasons for the denial.
(e) Require the eligible unit to meet the eligibility criteria of paragraph (1)(a).
(f) Require the property owner to submit an application for exemption, on a form prescribed by the department, accompanied by the certification of qualified property, to the property appraiser no later than March 1.
(g) Specify that the exemption applies only to the taxes levied by the unit of government granting the exemption.
(h) Specify that the property may not receive an exemption authorized by this section after expiration or repeal of the ordinance.
(i) Identify the percentage of the assessed value which is exempted, subject to the percentage limitations in paragraph (1)(b).
(j) Identify whether the exemption applies to natural persons or families meeting the income limits of sub-subparagraph (1)(a)1.a., natural persons or families meeting the income limits of sub-subparagraph (1)(a)1.b., or both.
(k) Require that the deadline to submit an application for certification be published on the county’s or municipality’s website. The deadline must allow adequate time for a property owner to make a timely application for exemption to the property appraiser.
(l) Require the county or municipality to post on its website a list of certified properties for the purpose of facilitating access to affordable housing.
(4) A rental market study submitted as required by paragraph (3)(c) must identify the fair market value rent of each unit for which a property owner seeks an exemption. Only a certified general appraiser, as defined in s. 475.611, may issue a rental market study. The certified general appraiser must be independent of the property owner who requests a rental market study. In preparing the rental market study, a certified general appraiser shall comply with the standards of professional practice pursuant to part II of chapter 475 and use comparable property within the same geographic area and of the same type as the property for which the exemption is sought. A rental market study must have been completed within 3 years before submission of the application.
(5) An ordinance adopted under this section must expire before the fourth January 1 after adoption; however, the board of county commissioners or the governing body of the municipality may adopt a new ordinance to renew the exemption. The board of county commissioners or the governing body of the municipality shall deliver a copy of an ordinance adopted under this section to the department and the property appraiser within 10 days after its adoption. If the ordinance expires or is repealed, the board of county commissioners or the governing body of the municipality must notify the department and the property appraiser within 10 days after its expiration or repeal.
(6) If the property appraiser determines that for any year during the immediately previous 10 years a person who was not entitled to an exemption under this section was granted such an exemption, the property appraiser must serve upon the owner a notice of intent to record in the public records of the county a notice of tax lien against any property owned by that person in the county, and that property must be identified in the notice of tax lien. Any property owned by the taxpayer and situated in this state is subject to the taxes exempted by the improper exemption, plus a penalty of 50 percent of the unpaid taxes for each year and interest at a rate of 15 percent per annum. If an exemption is improperly granted as a result of a clerical mistake or an omission by the property appraiser, the property owner improperly receiving the exemption may not be assessed a penalty or interest.
(7) This section first applies to the 2024 tax roll.
History.s. 9, ch. 2023-17.
1Note.Section 43, ch. 2023-17, provides that:

“(1) The Department of Revenue is authorized, and all conditions are deemed met, to adopt emergency rules under s. 120.54(4), Florida Statutes, for the purpose of implementing provisions related to the Live Local Program created by this act. Notwithstanding any other law, emergency rules adopted under this section are effective for 6 months after adoption and may be renewed during the pendency of procedures to adopt permanent rules addressing the subject of the emergency rules.

“(2) This section expires July 1, 2026.”