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The Florida Statutes

The 2022 Florida Statutes

Title XIV
TAXATION AND FINANCE
Chapter 197
TAX COLLECTIONS, SALES, AND LIENS
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F.S. 197.319
1197.319 Refund of taxes for residential improvements rendered uninhabitable by a catastrophic event.
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Catastrophic event” means an event of misfortune or calamity that renders one or more residential improvements uninhabitable. It does not include an event caused, directly or indirectly, by the property owner with the intent to damage or destroy the residential improvement.
(b) “Catastrophic event refund” means the product arrived at by multiplying the damage differential by the amount of timely paid taxes that were initially levied in the year in which the catastrophic event occurred.
(c) “Damage differential” means the product arrived at by multiplying the percent change in value by a ratio, the numerator of which is the number of days the residential improvement was rendered uninhabitable in the year in which the catastrophic event occurred, and the denominator of which is 365.
(d) “Percent change in value” means the difference between a residential parcel’s just value as of January 1 of the year in which the catastrophic event occurred and its postcatastrophic event just value expressed as a percentage of the parcel’s just value as of January 1 of the year in which the catastrophic event occurred.
(e) “Postcatastrophic event just value” means the just value of the residential parcel on January 1 of the year in which a catastrophic event occurred, reduced to reflect the just value of the residential parcel after the catastrophic event that rendered the residential improvement thereon uninhabitable and before any subsequent repairs. For purposes of this paragraph, a residential improvement that is uninhabitable has no value attached to it. The catastrophic event refund is determined only for purposes of calculating tax refunds for the year or years in which the residential improvement is uninhabitable as a result of the catastrophic event and does not determine a parcel’s just value as of January 1 each year.
(f) “Residential improvement” means real estate used and owned as a homestead as defined in s. 196.012(13) or nonhomestead residential property as defined in s. 193.1554(1). A residential improvement does not include a structure that is not essential to the use and occupancy of the residential dwelling or house, including, but not limited to, a detached utility building, detached carport, detached garage, bulkhead, fence, or swimming pool, and does not include land.
(g) “Uninhabitable” means the loss of use and occupancy of a residential improvement for the purpose for which it was constructed, as evidenced by documentation, including, but not limited to, utility bills, insurance information, contractors’ statements, building permit applications, or building inspection certificates of occupancy.
(2) If a residential improvement is rendered uninhabitable for at least 30 days due to a catastrophic event, taxes originally levied and paid for the year in which the catastrophic event occurred may be refunded in the following manner:
(a) The property owner must file an application for refund with the property appraiser:
1. If the residential improvement is restored to a habitable condition before December 1 of the year in which the catastrophic event occurred, no sooner than 30 days after the residential improvement that was rendered uninhabitable has been restored to a habitable condition; or
2. No later than March 1 of the year immediately following the catastrophic event.

The application for refund must be made on a form prescribed by the department and furnished by the property appraiser. The property appraiser may request supporting documentation be submitted along with the application, including, but not limited to, utility bills, insurance information, contractors’ statements, building permit applications, or building inspection certificates of occupancy, for purposes of determining conditions of uninhabitability and subsequent habitability following any repairs.

(b) The application for refund must identify the residential parcel upon which the residential improvement was rendered uninhabitable by a catastrophic event, the date on which the catastrophic event occurred, and the number of days the residential improvement was uninhabitable during the calendar year in which the catastrophic event occurred.
(c) The application for refund must be verified under oath and is subject to penalty of perjury.
(d) Upon receipt of an application for refund, the property appraiser must investigate the statements contained in the application to determine if the applicant is entitled to a refund of taxes. If the property appraiser determines that the applicant is not entitled to a refund, the applicant may file a petition with the value adjustment board, pursuant to s. 194.011(3), requesting that the refund be granted.
(e) If the property appraiser determines that the applicant is entitled to a refund, the property appraiser must issue an official written statement to the tax collector within 30 days after the determination, but no later than by April 1 of the year following the date on which the catastrophic event occurred, that provides:
1. The just value of the residential improvement as determined by the property appraiser on January 1 of the year in which the catastrophic event for which the applicant is claiming a refund occurred.
2. The number of days during the calendar year during which the residential improvement was uninhabitable.
3. The postcatastrophic event just value of the residential parcel as determined by the property appraiser.
4. The percent change in value applicable to the residential parcel.
(3) Upon receipt of the written statement from the property appraiser, the tax collector shall calculate the damage differential pursuant to this section and process a refund in an amount equal to the catastrophic event refund.
(4) Any person who is qualified to have his or her property taxes refunded under subsection (2) but fails to file an application by March 1 of the year immediately following the year in which the catastrophic event occurred may file an application for refund under this subsection and may file a petition with the value adjustment board, pursuant to s. 194.011(3), requesting that a refund under this subsection be granted. Such petition may be filed at any time during the taxable year on or before the 25th day following the mailing of the notice of proposed property taxes and non-ad valorem assessments by the property appraiser as provided in s. 194.011(1). Upon reviewing the petition, if the person is qualified to receive the refund under this subsection and demonstrates particular extenuating circumstances determined by the property appraiser or the value adjustment board to warrant granting a late application for refund, the property appraiser or the value adjustment board may grant a refund.
(5) By September 1 of each year, the tax collector shall notify:
(a) The department of the total reduction in taxes for all properties that qualified for a refund pursuant to this section for the year.
(b) The governing board of each affected local government of the reduction in such local government’s taxes that occurred pursuant to this section.
(6) This section does not affect the requirements of s. 197.333.
History.s. 14, ch. 2022-97.
1Note.

A. Section 15, ch. 2022-97, provides that “[s]ection 197.319, Florida Statutes, as created by this act, first applies to the 2023 ad valorem tax roll.”

B. Section 53, ch. 2022-97, provides that:

“(1) The Department of Revenue is authorized, and all conditions are deemed met, to adopt emergency rules pursuant to s. 120.54(4), Florida Statutes, to implement the amendments made by this act to s. 212.08; the creation by this act of ss. 197.319, 197.3195, and 220.1915, Florida Statutes; and the creation by this act of the temporary tax exemptions for ENERGY STAR appliances, children’s books, children’s diapers, baby and toddler clothing and shoes, and impact-resistant windows, doors, and garage doors. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, emergency rules adopted pursuant to this subsection 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 shall take effect upon this act becoming a law and expires July 1, 2025.”