Alarming changes to the Florida Development Finance Corporation (FDFC) are being introduced under CS/HB 7067, a 201-page bill that has passed the House and is on its way to the Senate floor. These changes, beginning on page 128, are:
• Removes the need for FDFC to enter into inter-local agreements with public entities throughout the state to fulfill its purposes; The removal of the inter-local requirement relates to more traditional industrial development bond financing. These financings are still subject to local governmental approval requirements (e.g., building permits). The package allows FDFC to levy voluntary special assessments on residents who voluntarily choose to participate in the PACE Program.
• Specifies that FDFC’s Board of Directors is able to take binding action during the pendency of one or more vacancies on the board; There were several vacancies for a period of time. FDFC Board members are nominated by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate.
• Removes the requirement that FDFC receive authorization by a public entity to issue bonds; Such financings are still subject to local government approval requirements (e.g., building permits, inspections, zoning, utilities). With respect to allowing the FDFC to levy voluntary special assessments for the PACE program, the FDFC is simply a conduit financer.
Currently, local governments act as the conduit financers . The bill would allow the FDFC to be a conduit financer in addition to local governments. The FDFC would have to go through the same processes that a local government does when it levies a special assessment
• Removes the requirement that FDFC submit an annual report to all the public entities with which FDFC has entered into an inter-local agreement. Financial reports of FDFC are available to any person (government or otherwise) as a public record and its financials are electronically available for any interested person’s review which is much more efficient and cost effective.
The FDFC is the organization that will decide if the State of Florida will be a conduit issuer of the Private Activity Bonds for All Aboard Florida. The FDFC previously approved this action but later discovered that its board members’ terms had expired.
Florida NOT All Aboard feels this legislation removes too much oversight for a government appointed agency. Please write the following legislators today and ask them to remove these provisions from CS/HB 7067.
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