(1) As used in this section:
(a) “Vending machine” means a machine, operated by coin, currency, credit card, slug, token, coupon, or similar device, which dispenses food, beverages, or other items of tangible personal property.
(b) “Operator” means any person who possesses a vending machine for the purpose of generating sales through that machine and who maintains the inventory in and removes the receipts from that vending machine.
(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the amount of the tax to be paid on food, beverages, or other items of tangible personal property that are sold in vending machines shall be calculated by dividing the gross receipts from such sales for the applicable reporting period by a divisor, determined as provided in this subsection, to compute gross taxable sales, and then subtracting gross taxable sales from gross receipts to arrive at the amount of tax due. For counties that do not impose a discretionary sales surtax, the divisor is equal to the sum of 1.0645 for beverage and food items, or 1.0659 for other items of tangible personal property. For counties with a 0.5 percent sales surtax rate the divisor is equal to the sum of 1.0686 for beverage and food items or 1.0707 for other items of tangible personal property; for counties with a 0.75 percent sales surtax rate the divisor is equal to the sum of 1.0706 for beverage and food items or 1.0727 for other items of tangible personal property; for counties with a 1 percent sales surtax rate the divisor is equal to the sum of 1.0726 for beverage and food items or 1.0749 for other items of tangible personal property; for counties with a 1.5 percent sales surtax rate the divisor is equal to the sum of 1.0767 for beverage and food items or 1.0791 for other items of tangible personal property; and for counties with a 2 percent sales surtax rate the divisor is equal to the sum of 1.0808 for beverage and food items or 1.0833 for other items of tangible personal property. When a county imposes a surtax rate that is not listed in this subsection, the department shall make the applicable divisor available in an electronic format or otherwise. Additional divisors shall bear the same mathematical relationship to the next higher and next lower divisors as the new surtax rate bears to the next higher and next lower surtax rates for which divisors have been established. If an operator cannot account for each type of item sold through a vending machine, the highest tax rate shall be used for all products sold through that machine.
(3)(a) An operator of a vending machine may not operate or cause to be operated in this state any vending machine until the operator has registered with the department, has obtained a separate registration certificate for each county in which such machines are located, and has affixed a notice to each vending machine selling food or beverages. The notice must be conspicuously displayed on the vending machine when it is being operated in this state and shall contain the following language in conspicuous type: NOTICE TO CUSTOMER: FLORIDA LAW REQUIRES THIS NOTICE TO BE POSTED ON ALL FOOD AND BEVERAGE VENDING MACHINES. REPORT ANY MACHINE WITHOUT A NOTICE TO (TOLL-FREE NUMBER). YOU MAY BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CASH REWARD. DO NOT USE THIS NUMBER TO REPORT PROBLEMS WITH THE VENDING MACHINE SUCH AS LOST MONEY OR OUT-OF-DATE PRODUCTS.
(b) The department shall establish a toll-free number to report any violations of this section. Upon a determination that a violation has occurred, the department shall pay the informant a reward of up to 10 percent of previously unpaid taxes recovered as a result of the information provided. A person who receives information concerning a violation of this section from an employee as specified in s. 213.30 is not eligible for a cash reward.
(4) A penalty of $250 per machine is imposed on an operator who fails to properly obtain and display the required notice on any machine. Penalties accrue interest as provided for delinquent taxes under this chapter and apply in addition to all other applicable taxes, interest, and penalties.
(5) The provisions of this section do not apply to vending machines owned and operated by churches, synagogues, or nonprofit or charitable organizations exempt pursuant to s. 212.08(7)(z).
(6) In addition to any other penalties imposed by this chapter, a person who knowingly and willfully violates any provision of this section commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(7) The department may adopt rules necessary to administer the provisions of this section and may establish a schedule for phasing in the requirement that existing notices be replaced with revised notices displayed on vending machines.