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The Florida Statutes

The 2017 Florida Statutes

Title XIV
TAXATION AND FINANCE
Chapter 212
TAX ON SALES, USE, AND OTHER TRANSACTIONS
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F.S. 212.097
212.097 Urban High-Crime Area Job Tax Credit Program.
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Eligible business” means any sole proprietorship, firm, partnership, or corporation that is located in a qualified county and is predominantly engaged in, or is headquarters for a business predominantly engaged in, activities usually provided for consideration by firms classified within the following standard industrial classifications: SIC 01-SIC 09 (agriculture, forestry, and fishing); SIC 20-SIC 39 (manufacturing); SIC 52-SIC 57 and SIC 59 (retail); SIC 422 (public warehousing and storage); SIC 70 (hotels and other lodging places); SIC 7391 (research and development); SIC 781 (motion picture production and allied services); SIC 7992 (public golf courses); and SIC 7996 (amusement parks). A call center or similar customer service operation that services a multistate market or international market is also an eligible business. In addition, the Department of Economic Opportunity may, as part of its final budget request submitted pursuant to s. 216.023, recommend additions to or deletions from the list of standard industrial classifications used to determine an eligible business, and the Legislature may implement such recommendations. Excluded from eligible receipts are receipts from retail sales, except such receipts for SIC 52-SIC 57 and SIC 59 (retail) hotels and other lodging places classified in SIC 70, public golf courses in SIC 7992, and amusement parks in SIC 7996. For purposes of this paragraph, the term “predominantly” means that more than 50 percent of the business’s gross receipts from all sources is generated by those activities usually provided for consideration by firms in the specified standard industrial classification. The determination of whether the business is located in a qualified high-crime area and the tier ranking of that area must be based on the date of application for the credit under this section. Commonly owned and controlled entities are to be considered a single business entity.
(b) “Qualified employee” means any employee of an eligible business who performs duties in connection with the operations of the business on a regular, full-time basis for an average of at least 36 hours per week for at least 3 months within the qualified high-crime area in which the eligible business is located. An owner or partner of the eligible business is not a qualified employee. The term also includes an employee leased from an employee leasing company licensed under chapter 468, if such employee has been continuously leased to the employer for an average of at least 36 hours per week for more than 6 months.
(c) “New business” means any eligible business first beginning operation on a site in a qualified high-crime area and clearly separate from any other commercial or business operation of the business entity within a qualified high-crime area. A business entity that operated an eligible business within a qualified high-crime area within the 48 months before the period provided for application by subsection (2) is not considered a new business.
(d) “Existing business” means any eligible business that does not meet the criteria for a new business.
(e) “Qualified high-crime area” means an area selected by the Department of Economic Opportunity in the following manner: every third year, the Department of Economic Opportunity shall rank and tier those areas nominated under subsection (7), according to the following prioritized criteria:
1. Highest arrest rates within the geographic area for violent crime and for such other crimes as drug sale, drug possession, prostitution, vandalism, and civil disturbances;
2. Highest reported crime volume and rate of specific property crimes such as business and residential burglary, motor vehicle theft, and vandalism;
3. Highest percentage of reported index crimes that are violent in nature;
4. Highest overall index crime volume for the area; and
5. Highest overall index crime rate for the geographic area.

Tier-one areas are ranked 1 through 5 and represent the highest crime areas according to this ranking. Tier-two areas are ranked 6 through 10 according to this ranking. Tier-three areas are ranked 11 through 15. Notwithstanding this definition, “qualified high-crime area” also means an area that has been designated as a federal Empowerment Zone pursuant to the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997. Such a designated area is ranked in tier three until the areas are reevaluated by the Department of Economic Opportunity.

(2) A new eligible business may apply for a tax credit under this subsection once at any time during its first year of operation. A new eligible business in a tier-one qualified high-crime area which has at least 10 qualified employees on the date of application shall receive a $1,500 tax credit for each such employee. A new eligible business in a tier-two qualified high-crime area which has at least 20 qualified employees on the date of application shall receive a $1,000 tax credit for each such employee. A new eligible business in a tier-three qualified high-crime area which has at least 30 qualified employees on the date of application shall receive a $500 tax credit for each such employee.
(3)(a) An existing eligible business may apply for a tax credit under this subsection at any time it is entitled to such credit, except as restricted by this subsection. An existing eligible business in a tier-one qualified high-crime area which on the date of application has at least 5 more qualified employees than it had 1 year prior to its date of application shall receive a $1,500 tax credit for each such additional employee. An existing eligible business in a tier-two qualified high-crime area which on the date of application has at least 10 more qualified employees than it had 1 year prior to its date of application shall receive a $1,000 credit for each such additional employee. An existing business in a tier-three qualified high-crime area which on the date of application has at least 15 more qualified employees than it had 1 year prior to its date of application shall receive a $500 tax credit for each such additional employee. An existing eligible business may apply for the credit under this subsection no more than once in any 12-month period. Any existing eligible business that received a credit under subsection (2) may not apply for the credit under this subsection sooner than 12 months after the application date for the credit under subsection (2).
(b) An existing eligible business that filed an application for a tax credit under this subsection on or after January 1, 2009, and was denied because of the limitation set forth in subsection (5) at the time of such application, may refile the application on or before December 31, 2012, if the number of qualified employees employed on the day the denied application is refiled is no lower than the number of qualified employees on the day the denied application was initially filed. Any credit resulting from the refiled application is subject to the aggregate limitation set forth in subsection (10) for the calendar year 2012. For purposes of applying the tax credit eligibility determination required by this section to the refiled application, the terms “date of application” and “application date” mean the date the denied application was initially filed.
(4) For any new eligible business receiving a credit pursuant to subsection (2), an additional $500 credit shall be provided for any qualified employee who is a welfare transition program participant. For any existing eligible business receiving a credit pursuant to subsection (3), an additional $500 credit shall be provided for any qualified employee who is a welfare transition program participant. Such employee must be employed on the application date and have been employed less than 1 year. This credit shall be in addition to other credits pursuant to this section regardless of the tier-level of the high-crime area. Appropriate documentation concerning the eligibility of an employee for this credit must be submitted as determined by the Department of Revenue.
(5) To be eligible for a tax credit under subsection (3), the number of qualified employees employed 1 year before the application date must be no lower than the number of qualified employees on January 1, 2009, or on the application date on which a credit under this section was based for any previous application, including an application under subsection (2).
(6) Any county or municipality, or a county and one or more municipalities together, may apply to the Department of Economic Opportunity for the designation of an area as a high-crime area after the adoption by the governing body or bodies of a resolution that:
(a) Finds that a high-crime area exists in such county or municipality, or in both the county and one or more municipalities, which chronically exhibits extreme and unacceptable levels of poverty, unemployment, physical deterioration, and economic disinvestment;
(b) Determines that the rehabilitation, conservation, or redevelopment, or a combination thereof, of such a high-crime area is necessary in the interest of the health, safety, and welfare of the residents of such county or municipality, or such county and one or more municipalities; and
(c) Determines that the revitalization of such a high-crime area can occur if the public sector or private sector can be induced to invest its own resources in productive enterprises that build or rebuild the economic viability of the area.
(7) The governing body of the entity nominating the area shall provide to the Department of Economic Opportunity the following:
(a) The overall index crime rate for the geographic area;
(b) The overall index crime volume for the area;
(c) The percentage of reported index crimes that are violent in nature;
(d) The reported crime volume and rate of specific property crimes such as business and residential burglary, motor vehicle theft, and vandalism; and
(e) The arrest rates within the geographic area for violent crime and for such other crimes as drug sale, drug possession, prostitution, disorderly conduct, vandalism, and other public-order offenses.
(8) A municipality, or a county and one or more municipalities together, may not nominate more than one high-crime area. However, any county as defined by s. 125.011(1) may nominate no more than three high-crime areas.
(9) An area nominated by a county or municipality, or a county and one or more municipalities together, for designation as a high-crime area shall be eligible only if it meets the following criteria:
(a) The selected area does not exceed 20 square miles and either has a continuous boundary or consists of not more than three noncontiguous parcels;
(b) The selected area does not exceed the following mileage limitation:
1. For communities having a total population of 150,000 persons or more, the selected area does not exceed 20 square miles.
2. For communities having a total population of 50,000 persons or more, but fewer than 150,000 persons, the selected area does not exceed 10 square miles.
3. For communities having a total population of 20,000 persons or more, but fewer than 50,000 persons, the selected area does not exceed 5 square miles.
4. For communities having a total population of fewer than 20,000 persons, the selected area does not exceed 3 square miles.
(10)(a) In order to claim this credit, an eligible business must file under oath with the Department of Economic Opportunity a statement that includes the name and address of the eligible business and any other information that is required to process the application.
(b) Applications shall be reviewed and certified pursuant to s. 288.061.
(c) The maximum credit amount that may be approved during any calendar year is $5 million, of which $1 million shall be exclusively reserved for tier-one areas. The Department of Revenue, in conjunction with the Department of Economic Opportunity, shall notify the governing bodies in areas designated as urban high-crime areas when the $5 million maximum amount has been reached. Applications must be considered for approval in the order in which they are received without regard to whether the credit is for a new or existing business. This limitation applies to the value of the credit as contained in approved applications. Approved credits may be taken in the time and manner allowed pursuant to this section.
(11) If the application is insufficient to support the credit authorized in this section, the Department of Economic Opportunity shall deny the credit and notify the business of that fact. The business may reapply for this credit within 3 months after such notification.
(12) If the credit under this section is greater than can be taken on a single tax return, excess amounts may be taken as credits on any tax return submitted within 12 months after the approval of the application by the department.
(13) It is the responsibility of each business to affirmatively demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Department of Revenue that it meets the requirements of this section.
(14) Any person who fraudulently claims this credit is liable for repayment of the credit plus a mandatory penalty of 100 percent of the credit and is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(15) A corporation may take the credit under this section against its corporate income tax liability, as provided in s. 220.1895. However, a corporation that applies its job tax credit against the tax imposed by chapter 220 may not receive the credit provided for in this section. A credit may be taken against only one tax.
History.s. 1, ch. 97-50; s. 10, ch. 98-342; s. 86, ch. 99-251; s. 2, ch. 99-342; s. 56, ch. 2000-165; s. 15, ch. 2000-210; s. 2, ch. 2001-106; s. 4, ch. 2009-51; s. 77, ch. 2011-142; s. 9, ch. 2012-32; s. 14, ch. 2013-18.