July 1, 2018 Effective Date:
SB100 – Veterans’ DL/ID Legislation Waiving $6.25 for Veteran DL and ID Transactions
DHSMV is working on the programming concerning the implementation of the provisions of SB100 (relating to the waiver of the $6.25 for DL and ID fees for veterans), which becomes effective on July 1, 2018. Below are the pertinent changes to Section 322.135, Florida Statutes:
322.135 Driver license agents.—
(1) The department shall, upon application, authorize by interagency agreement any or all of the tax collectors who are constitutional officers under s. 1(d), Art. VIII of the State Constitution in the several counties of the state, subject to the requirements of law, in accordance with rules of the department, to serve as its agent for the provision of specified driver license services.
(c) A service fee of $6.25 must be charged, in addition to the fees set forth in this chapter, for providing all services pursuant to this chapter. The service fee may not be charged:
- More than once per customer during a single visit to a tax collector’s office.
- For a reexamination requested by the Medical Advisory Board or required pursuant to s. 322.221.
- For a voter registration transaction.
- In violation of any federal or state law.
- To a veteran receiving any service pursuant to this chapter, upon presentation of a copy of the veteran’s:
a. DD Form 214, issued by the United States Department of Defense;
b. Veteran health identification card, issued by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs;
c. Veteran identification card, issued by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs pursuant to the Veterans Identification Card Act of 2015, Pub. L. 114-31; or
d. Other acceptable form specified by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
As reported on the all-call, DHSMV is handling the programming in FDLIS so that the $6.25 cannot be charged once proof of veteran status established. FTCA has also reached out to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to see if other forms have been specified by the Department and will keep everyone posted.
HB185 – Redirects of Fees to Tax Collectors:
The bill amends s. 322.12(1), F.S., to provide that when the Tax Collector administers a subsequent knowledge test, the Tax Collector retains the $10 fee minus the general revenue surcharge (which is currently 8 percent). Additionally, the bill amends s. 322.12(1), F.S., to provide that for a subsequent skills test administered by the tax collector, the Tax Collector retains the $20 fee minus the general revenue surcharge.
The bill also amends s. 322.21(8), F.S., to provide that when the Tax Collector processes the $45 fee received from a licensee for reinstatement of a driver license following a suspension, the Tax Collector retains $15 (minus the general revenue surcharge), $15 is deposited into the Highway Safety Operating Trust Fund, and $15 is deposited into the General Revenue Fund. Additionally, the bill provides that when the Tax Collector processes the $75 fee received from a licensee for reinstatement of a driver license following a revocation or disqualification, the tax collector retains $20 (minus the general revenue surcharge), $20 is deposited into the Highway Safety Operating Trust Fund, and $35 is deposited into the General Revenue Fund.
FTCA Leadership has had several meetings with DHSMV and the Department is implementing the changes to the system in order to send the redirected dollars to Tax Collectors, less the GR surcharge.
HB1383 – Tax Deed Sales:
As it relates to Tax Collectors’ duties in processing tax deed applications, HB1383:
- Requires certificateholders to pay certain costs required to bring the property to sale within 30 days after receiving notice from the Clerk. If the certificateholder fails to pay these costs within 30 days after notice, the Tax Collector must cancel the deed application. All taxes and costs associated with a cancelled tax deed application shall earn interest at the bid rate of the certificate on which the application was based.
- Requires that notice of the tax deed sale be sent to the address that financial institutions and mortgagees designate with the Department of State, if they have done so.
- Requires, rather than permits, Tax Collectors to use a title company or abstract company to provide a “property information report” to determine the proper parties for the Clerk to send notice of the sale.
The remainder of changes made by HB1383 concern actions of the Clerk in conducting tax deed sales. These changes include a requirement to record a notice of tax deed application in the official records, a provision that the clerk may rely on addresses provided by the Tax Collector from the tax roll, and a significant change in the procedure for the disbursement of “surplus” (previously “excess”) funds following a tax deed sale.
October 1, 2018 Effective Date:
HB7055 – Broad Overview
House Bill 7055- Part of this bill (see lines 453-476) established the HOPE Scholarship Fund (HSF) for students subjected to certain misconduct in public schools. The bill provides the parent of a public school student subjected to an incident at school the opportunity to transfer the student to a public school within the school district, receive a scholarship to transport the student to a public school in another school district, or receive a scholarship for the student to attend a private school. § 1002.40(1), Fla. Stat. (2018). Beginning with the 2018-2019 school year, contingent upon funds, scholarships are awarded on a first come, first-served basis. § 1002.40(3), Fla. Stat. (2018).
Why the HSF Matters to Tax Collectors:
The Hope Scholarship program allows purchasers of motor vehicles to be granted a sales tax credit for their contribution to an eligible nonprofit scholarship funding organization (SFO) to fund program scholarships. § 212.1832(1), Fla. Stat. (2018). In other words, vehicles purchasers are able to direct amounts that they would otherwise pay in the form of state sales tax on the purchase of a vehicle to an SFO to fund the Hope Scholarship Program. The bill becomes effective for any purchases made on or after October 1, 2018. Id.
As reported both during and after legislative session, in order to implement the bill, DOR was granted rule-making authority by the Legislature in order to promulgate rules governing the procedures for the election, collection, and distribution of the HSF credit and credit dollars. § 1002.40(16), Fla. Stat. (2018). DOR will develop and provide a contribution election form which must, at a minimum, briefly describe the Hope Scholarship Program and give the consumer the option to designate which eligible SFO shall receive his or her contribution. § 1002.40(13)(a), Fla. Stat. (2018).
Under the law, dealers, Tax Collectors and Tax Collectors’ Private Tag Agents must:
- provide the purchaser a contribution election form, as prescribed by the DOR, at the time of purchase or at the time of registration if the vehicle is not purchased from a dealer;
- collect eligible contributions;
- remit to the scholarship funding organization (SFO) no later than the date the sales tax return is due the total amount of contributions made to the SFO and collected during the preceding reporting period.
- report the information regarding amount remitted to the SFO’s to DOR no later than the date the sales tax return is due; and
- report on each return filed with the DOR the total amount of credits granted during the preceding calendar month.
1002.40(13)(b)1-4, Fla. Stat. (2018).
Please note that your DOR Chairman, Dale Summerford, has been in constant contact with DOR since this law has passed and has had several meetings concerning the implementation. Chairman Summerford has made DOR aware of the current sales tax collection process in Tax Collectors’ offices and has shared with DOR what Tax Collectors would like to see as far as real time electronic transfer and tracking of the credit dollars. In addition there was a very brief public hearing at DOR on May 8, 2018, but nothing really transpired at the meeting other than a few comments from interested parties.
Note further that at this time there exist only two eligible SFO’s.
Once DOR rulemaking is formally scheduled you will likely receive a notice from DOR. In addition, your DOR Chairman, Dale Summerford will let everyone know as well. FTCA will be actively monitoring the rulemaking process.