Florida League of Cities

Improvements to Real Property (Support) – Passed

CS/CS/CS/SB 770 (Martin) and CS/HB 927 (Trabulsy) revise requirements relating to the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program. The bills define “commercial property,” “facility,” “government commercial property,” nongovernmental lessee,” program administrator,” “qualifying improvement contractor,” “qualifying improvement program,” “qualifying improvement,” and “residential property” for purposes of the PACE program. CS/CS/SB 770 authorizes the use of interlocal agreements for the purpose of PACE financing but specifies that the property for which qualifying improvements are made must be located within the jurisdictions of the local governments that are parties to the interlocal agreement. The bills authorize local governments to enter financing agreements with property owners to finance or refinance qualifying improvements and require such agreements to meet specified conditions. The definition of “qualifying improvement” is expanded to include wastewater improvements relating to repair, replacement, or conversion of a septic tank system, and flood and water damage mitigation and resiliency improvements. The bills define “qualifying improvements” for commercial properties. The bills revise and specify public recording requirements for assessment financing agreements and notices of lien. The bills authorize local governments to include in any contracts with program administrators provisions for performing annual reviews to confirm compliance. The bills prohibit liens relating to PACE improvements from being enforced in a manner that accelerates the remaining nondelinquent unpaid balance. Numerous new consumer protection requirements are imposed on the approval of PACE financing agreements, including requirements that a local government or program administrator determine whether a property owner has the ability to pay the assessment, requirements for disclosures to property owners, requirements for obtaining the consent of certain mortgage holders or loan servicers, requirements for monitoring compliance by qualifying improvement contractors, and requirements for annual reporting by local governments. CS/CS/CS/SB 770 passed the Senate (34-2) and the House (87-24) is awaiting action by the Governor. (O’Hara)