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The Florida Statutes

The 2017 Florida Statutes

Title XIV
TAXATION AND FINANCE
Chapter 202
COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES TAX SIMPLIFICATION LAW
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F.S. 202.24
202.24 Limitations on local taxes and fees imposed on dealers of communications services.
(1) The authority of a public body to require taxes, fees, charges, or other impositions from dealers of communications services for occupying its roads and rights-of-way is specifically preempted by the state because of unique circumstances applicable to communications services dealers. Communications services may be provided by certain dealers of communications services in a manner that requires the use of public roads or rights-of-way while similar communications services may be provided by other dealers of communications services in a manner that does not require the use of public roads or rights-of-way. Although similar communications services may be provided by different means, the state seeks to treat dealers of communications services in a nondiscriminatory and competitively neutral manner.
(2)(a) Except as provided in paragraph (c), each public body is prohibited from:
1. Levying on or collecting from dealers or purchasers of communications services any tax, charge, fee, or other imposition on or with respect to the provision or purchase of communications services.
2. Requiring any dealer of communications services to enter into or extend the term of a franchise or other agreement that requires the payment of a tax, charge, fee, or other imposition.
3. Adopting or enforcing any provision of any ordinance or agreement to the extent that such provision obligates a dealer of communications services to charge, collect, or pay to the public body a tax, charge, fee, or other imposition.

Municipalities and counties may not negotiate those terms and conditions related to franchise fees or the definition of gross revenues or other definitions or methodologies related to the payment or assessment of franchise fees on providers of video services.

(b) For purposes of this subsection, a tax, charge, fee, or other imposition includes any amount or in-kind payment of property or services which is required by ordinance or agreement to be paid or furnished to a public body by or through a dealer of communications services in its capacity as a dealer of communications services, regardless of whether such amount or in-kind payment of property or services is:
1. Designated as a sales tax, excise tax, subscriber charge, franchise fee, user fee, privilege fee, occupancy fee, rental fee, license fee, pole fee, tower fee, base-station fee, or other tax or fee;
2. Measured by the amounts charged or received for services, regardless of whether such amount is permitted or required to be separately stated on the customer’s bill, by the type or amount of equipment or facilities deployed, or by other means; or
3. Intended as compensation for the use of public roads or rights-of-way, for the right to conduct business, or for other purposes.
(c) This subsection does not apply to:
1. Local communications services taxes levied under this chapter.
2. Ad valorem taxes levied pursuant to chapter 200.
3. Business taxes levied under chapter 205.
4. “911” service charges levied under chapter 365.
5. Amounts charged for the rental or other use of property owned by a public body which is not in the public rights-of-way to a dealer of communications services for any purpose, including, but not limited to, the placement or attachment of equipment used in the provision of communications services.
6. Permit fees of general applicability which are not related to placing or maintaining facilities in or on public roads or rights-of-way.
7. Permit fees related to placing or maintaining facilities in or on public roads or rights-of-way pursuant to s. 337.401.
8. Any in-kind requirements, institutional networks, or contributions for, or in support of, the use or construction of public, educational, or governmental access facilities allowed under federal law and imposed on providers of video service pursuant to any existing ordinance or an existing franchise agreement granted by each municipality or county, under which ordinance or franchise agreement service is provided before July 1, 2007, or as permitted under chapter 610. This subparagraph does not prohibit providers of video service from recovering the expenses as allowed under federal law.
9. Special assessments and impact fees.
10. Pole attachment fees that are charged by a local government for attachments to utility poles owned by the local government.
11. Utility service fees or other similar user fees for utility services.
12. Any other generally applicable tax, fee, charge, or imposition authorized by general law on July 1, 2000, which is not specifically prohibited by this subsection or included as a replaced revenue source in s. 202.20.
(3) As used in this section, “public body” has the meaning ascribed in s. 1.01(8), and includes, without limitation, every division, agency, and instrumentality thereof; however, the term does not include the state or any branch of state government.
History.ss. 16, 58, ch. 2000-260; ss. 18, 38, ch. 2001-140; s. 16, ch. 2007-5; s. 4, ch. 2007-29; s. 8, ch. 2012-70.