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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. 196.1978
196.1978 Affordable housing property exemption.
1(1)(a) Property used to provide affordable housing to eligible persons as defined by s. 159.603 and natural persons or families meeting the extremely-low-income, very-low-income, low-income, or moderate-income limits specified in s. 420.0004, which is owned entirely by a nonprofit entity that is a corporation not for profit, qualified as charitable under s. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and in compliance with Rev. Proc. 96-32, 1996-1 C.B. 717, is considered property owned by an exempt entity and used for a charitable purpose, and those portions of the affordable housing property that provide housing to natural persons or families classified as extremely low income, very low income, low income, or moderate income under s. 420.0004 are exempt from ad valorem taxation to the extent authorized under s. 196.196. All property identified in this subsection must comply with the criteria provided under s. 196.195 for determining exempt status and applied by property appraisers on an annual basis. The Legislature intends that any property owned by a limited liability company which is disregarded as an entity for federal income tax purposes pursuant to Treasury Regulation 301.7701-3(b)(1)(ii) be treated as owned by its sole member. If the sole member of the limited liability company that owns the property is also a limited liability company that is disregarded as an entity for federal income tax purposes pursuant to Treasury Regulation 301.7701-3(b)(1)(ii), the Legislature intends that the property be treated as owned by the sole member of the limited liability company that owns the limited liability company that owns the property. Units that are vacant and units that are occupied by natural persons or families whose income no longer meets the income limits of this subsection, but whose income met those income limits at the time they became tenants, shall be treated as portions of the affordable housing property exempt under this subsection if a recorded land use restriction agreement in favor of the Florida Housing Finance Corporation or any other governmental or quasi-governmental jurisdiction requires that all residential units within the property be used in a manner that qualifies for the exemption under this subsection and if the units are being offered for rent.
(b) Land that is owned entirely by a nonprofit entity that is a corporation not for profit, qualified as charitable under s. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and in compliance with Rev. Proc. 96-32, 1996-1 C.B. 717, and is leased for a minimum of 99 years for the purpose of, and is predominantly used for, providing housing to natural persons or families meeting the extremely-low-income, very-low-income, low-income, or moderate-income limits specified in s. 420.0004 is exempt from ad valorem taxation. For purposes of this paragraph, land is predominantly used for qualifying purposes if the square footage of the improvements on the land used to provide qualifying housing is greater than 50 percent of the square footage of all improvements on the land. This paragraph first applies to the 2024 tax roll and is repealed December 31, 2059.
(2)(a) Notwithstanding ss. 196.195 and 196.196, property in a multifamily project that meets the requirements of this subsection is considered property used for a charitable purpose and is exempt from ad valorem tax beginning with the January 1 assessment after the 15th completed year from the earliest of:
1. The effective date of the recorded agreement on those portions of the affordable housing property that provide housing to natural persons or families meeting the extremely-low-income, very-low-income, or low-income limits specified in s. 420.0004;
2. The first day of the first taxable year in which the property was placed in service as an affordable housing property that provides housing to natural persons or families meeting the extremely-low-income, very-low-income, or low-income limits specified in s. 420.0004; or
3. The date the property received a certificate of occupancy or a certificate of substantial completion, as applicable, allowing the property to be used as an affordable housing property that provides housing to natural persons or families meeting the extremely-low-income, very-low-income, or low-income limits specified in s. 420.0004.
(b) The multifamily project must:
1. Contain more than 70 units that are used to provide affordable housing to natural persons or families meeting the extremely-low-income, very-low-income, or low-income limits specified in s. 420.0004; and
2. Be subject to an agreement with the Florida Housing Finance Corporation recorded in the official records of the county in which the property is located to provide affordable housing to natural persons or families meeting the extremely-low-income, very-low-income, or low-income limits specified in s. 420.0004.

This exemption terminates if the property no longer serves extremely-low-income, very-low-income, or low-income persons pursuant to the recorded agreement.

(c) To receive the exemption under paragraph (a), a qualified applicant must submit an application to the county property appraiser by March 1.
(d) The property appraiser shall apply the exemption to those portions of the affordable housing property that provide housing to natural persons or families meeting the extremely-low-income, very-low-income, or low-income limits specified in s. 420.0004 before certifying the tax roll to the tax collector.
1(3)(a) As used in this subsection, the term:
1. “Corporation” means the Florida Housing Finance Corporation.
2. “Newly constructed” means an improvement to real property which was substantially completed within 5 years before the date of an applicant’s first submission of a request for certification or an application for an exemption pursuant to this section, whichever is earlier.
3. “Substantially completed” has the same meaning as in s. 192.042(1).
(b) Notwithstanding ss. 196.195 and 196.196, portions of property in a multifamily project are considered property used for a charitable purpose and are eligible to receive an ad valorem property tax exemption if such portions:
1. Provide affordable housing to natural persons or families meeting the income limitations provided in paragraph (d);
2. Are within a newly constructed multifamily project that contains more than 70 units dedicated to housing natural persons or families meeting the income limitations provided in paragraph (d); and
3. Are rented for an amount that does not exceed 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 paragraph (m), whichever is less.
(c) If a unit that in the previous year qualified for the exemption under this subsection and was occupied by a tenant is vacant on January 1, the vacant unit is eligible for the exemption if the use of the unit is restricted to providing affordable housing that would otherwise meet the requirements of this subsection and a reasonable effort is made to lease the unit to eligible persons or families.
(d)1. Qualified property used to house natural persons or families whose annual household income is greater than 80 percent but not more than 120 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, must receive an ad valorem property tax exemption of 75 percent of the assessed value.
2. Qualified property used to house natural persons or families whose annual household income does not exceed 80 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, is exempt from ad valorem property taxes.
(e) To receive an exemption under this subsection, a property owner must submit an application on a form prescribed by the department by March 1 for the exemption, accompanied by a certification notice from the corporation to the property appraiser.
(f) To receive a certification notice, a property owner must submit a request to the corporation for certification on a form provided by the corporation which includes all of the following:
1. The most recently completed rental market study meeting the requirements of paragraph (m).
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 paragraph (c), the property owner must provide evidence of the published rent amount for each vacant unit.
4. A sworn statement, under penalty of perjury, from the applicant restricting the property for a period of not less than 3 years to housing persons or families who meet the income limitations under this subsection.
(g) The corporation shall review the request for certification and certify property that meets the eligibility criteria of this subsection. A determination by the corporation regarding a request for certification does not constitute final agency action pursuant to chapter 120.
1. If the corporation determines that the property meets the eligibility criteria for an exemption under this subsection, the corporation must send a certification notice to the property owner and the property appraiser.
2. If the corporation determines that the property does not meet the eligibility criteria, the corporation must notify the property owner and include the reasons for such determination.
(h) The corporation shall post on its website the deadline to submit a request for certification. The deadline must allow adequate time for a property owner to submit a timely application for exemption to the property appraiser.
(i) The property appraiser shall review the application and determine if the applicant is entitled to an exemption. A property appraiser may grant an exemption only for a property for which the corporation has issued a certification notice.
(j) 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 subsection 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.
(k) Units subject to an agreement with the corporation pursuant to chapter 420 recorded in the official records of the county in which the property is located to provide housing to natural persons or families meeting the extremely-low-income, very-low-income, or low-income limits specified in s. 420.0004 are not eligible for this exemption.
(l) Property receiving an exemption pursuant to s. 196.1979 is not eligible for this exemption.
(m) A rental market study submitted as required by paragraph (f) 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 the 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.
(n) The corporation may adopt rules to implement this section.
(o) This subsection first applies to the 2024 tax roll and is repealed December 31, 2059.
History.s. 15, ch. 99-378; s. 9, ch. 2000-353; s. 29, ch. 2006-69; s. 18, ch. 2009-96; s. 4, ch. 2011-15; s. 11, ch. 2013-72; s. 3, ch. 2013-83; s. 6, ch. 2017-36; ss. 10, 11, ch. 2020-10; s. 10, ch. 2021-31; s. 10, ch. 2022-97; s. 8, 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.”