(1) Property of any sewer and water company owned or operated by a Florida corporation not for profit, the income from which has been exempt, as of January 1 of the year for which the exemption from ad valorem property taxes is requested, from federal income taxation by having qualified under s. 115(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 or of a corresponding section of a subsequently enacted federal revenue act, shall be exempt from ad valorem taxation, provided the following criteria for exemption are met by the not-for-profit sewer and water company:

(a) Net income derived by the company does not inure to any private shareholder or individual.

Terms Used In Florida Statutes 196.2001

  • Corporation: A legal entity owned by the holders of shares of stock that have been issued, and that can own, receive, and transfer property, and carry on business in its own name.
  • Fiscal year: The fiscal year is the accounting period for the government. For the federal government, this begins on October 1 and ends on September 30. The fiscal year is designated by the calendar year in which it ends; for example, fiscal year 2006 begins on October 1, 2005 and ends on September 30, 2006.
  • Gift: A voluntary transfer or conveyance of property without consideration, or for less than full and adequate consideration based on fair market value.
  • Gross income: means all income from whatever source derived, including, but not limited to, the following items, whether actually owned by or received by, or not received by but available to, any person or couple: earned income, income from investments, gains derived from dealings in property, interest, rents, royalties, dividends, annuities, income from retirement plans, pensions, trusts, estates and inheritances, and direct and indirect gifts. See Florida Statutes 288.107
  • Intangible property: Property that has no intrinsic value, but is merely the evidence of value such as stock certificates, bonds, and promissory notes.
  • person: includes individuals, children, firms, associations, joint adventures, partnerships, estates, trusts, business trusts, syndicates, fiduciaries, corporations, and all other groups or combinations. See Florida Statutes 88.6011
  • Trustee: A person or institution holding and administering property in trust.
(b) Gross receipts do not constitute gross income for federal income tax purposes.
(c) Members of the company’s governing board serve without compensation.
(d) Rates for services rendered by the company are established by the governing board of the county or counties within which the company provides service; by the Public Service Commission, in those counties in which rates are regulated by the commission; or by the Farmers Home Administration.
(e) Ownership of the company reverts to the county in which the company conducts its business upon retirement of all outstanding indebtedness of the company.

Notwithstanding anything above, no exemption shall be granted until the property appraiser has considered the proposed exemption and has made a specific finding that the water and sewer company in question performs a public purpose in the absence of which the expenditure of public funds would be required.

(2)(a) No exemption authorized pursuant to this section shall be granted unless the company applies to the property appraiser on or before March 1 of each year for such exemption. In its annual application for exemption, the company shall provide the property appraiser with the following information:

1. Financial statements for the immediately preceding fiscal year, certified by an independent certified public accountant, showing the financial condition and records of operation of the company for that fiscal year.
2. Any other records or information as may be requested by the property appraiser for the purposes of determining whether the requirements of subsection (1) have been met.
(b) The exemption from ad valorem taxation shall not be granted to a not-for-profit sewer and water company unless the company meets the criteria set forth in subsection (1). In determining whether the company is operated as a profitmaking venture, the property appraiser shall consider the following:

1. Any advances or payments directly or indirectly by way of salary, fee, loan, gift, bonus, gratuity, drawing account, commission, or otherwise (except for reimbursement of advances for reasonable out-of-pocket expenses incurred on behalf of the applicant) to any person, company, or other entity directly or indirectly controlled by such persons, or which pays any compensation to its officers, directors, trustees, members, or stockholders for services rendered to or on behalf of the corporation;
2. Any contractual arrangement by the corporation with any officer, director, trustee, member, or stockholder of the corporation regarding rendition of services, the provision of goods or supplies, the management of applicant, the construction or renovation of the property of the corporation, the procurement of the real, personal, or intangible property of the corporation, or other similar financial interest in the affairs of the corporation;
3. The reasonableness of payments made for salaries for the operations of the corporation or for services, supplies, and materials used by the corporation, reserves for repair, replacement, and depreciation of the property of the corporation, payment of mortgages, liens, and encumbrances upon the property of the corporation, or other purposes.