Florida Tax Increment Financing Districts
Which should you use: CRAs or the new Urban Infill & Redevelopment
Traditionally, to get Tax Increment Financing (TIF) you
would have to create a Community Redevelopement Agency
(or CRA). In 1999
the legislature gave us a new tool - the "Growth Policy Act
which allowed for the creation of "Urban Infill and Redevelopment Areas"
A primary advantage of the new tool over CRA's is that the governance structure
can be much more flexible and can include local stakeholders (and not be made up
entirely by local governement as with CRAs)
THE FLORIDA "GROWTH POLICY ACT"
Authorizing the Creation of "Urban Infill and
Adopted in 1999 by the Florida Legislature
The following is the introductory section of the Act
163.2511 Urban infill and redevelopment
(1) Sections 163.2511-163.2526 may be cited as the "Growth Policy Act."
(2) It is declared that:
(a) Fiscally strong urban centers are beneficial to regional and state economies
and resources, are a method for reduction of future urban sprawl, and should be
promoted by state, regional, and local governments.
(b) The health and vibrancy of the urban cores benefit their respective regions
and the state; conversely, the deterioration of those urban cores negatively impacts
the surrounding area and the state.
(c) In recognition of the interwoven destiny between the urban center, the suburbs,
the region, and the state, the respective governments need to establish a framework
and work in partnership with communities and the private sector to revitalize urban
(d) State urban policies should guide the state, regional agencies, local governments,
and the private sector in preserving and redeveloping existing urban cores and promoting
the adequate provision of infrastructure, human services, safe neighborhoods, educational
facilities, and economic development to sustain these cores into the future.
(e) Successfully revitalizing and sustaining the urban cores is dependent on addressing,
through an integrated and coordinated community effort, a range of varied components
essential to a healthy urban environment, including cultural, educational, recreational,
economic, transportation, and social service components.
(f) Infill development and redevelopment are recognized to be important components
and useful mechanisms for promoting and sustaining urban cores. State and regional
entities and local governments should provide incentives to promote urban infill
and redevelopment. Existing programs and incentives should be integrated to the
extent possible to promote urban infill and redevelopment and to achieve the goals
of the state urban policy.
History.--s. 1, ch. 99-378.
The following is the Definition section
163.2514 Growth Policy Act; definitions.--As used in ss. 163.2511-163.2526:
(1) "Local government" means any county or municipality.
(2) "Urban infill and redevelopment area
" means an area or areas
designated by a local government where:
(a) Public services such as water and wastewater, transportation, schools, and recreation
are already available or are scheduled to be provided in an adopted 5-year schedule
of capital improvements;
(b) The area, or one or more neighborhoods within the area, suffers from pervasive
poverty, unemployment, and general distress as defined by s. 290.0058;
(c) The area exhibits a proportion of properties that are substandard, overcrowded,
dilapidated, vacant or abandoned, or functionally obsolete which is higher than
the average for the local government;
(d) More than 50 percent of the area is within 1/4 mile of a transit stop, or a
sufficient number of such transit stops will be made available concurrent with the
(e) The area includes or is adjacent to community redevelopment areas, brownfields,
enterprise zones, or Main Street programs, or has been designated by the state or
Federal Government as an urban redevelopment, revitalization, or infill area under
empowerment zone, enterprise community, or brownfield showcase community programs
or similar programs.
The following section outlines the mechanics of getting designated
163.2517 Designation of urban infill and redevelopment area.
(1) A local government may designate a geographic area or areas within its jurisdiction
as an urban infill and redevelopment area for the purpose of targeting economic
development, job creation, housing, transportation, crime prevention, neighborhood
revitalization and preservation, and land use incentives to encourage urban infill
and redevelopment within the urban core.
(2)(a) As part of the preparation and implementation of an urban infill and redevelopment
plan, a collaborative and holistic community participation process must be implemented
to include each neighborhood within the area targeted for designation as an urban
infill and redevelopment area. The objective of the community participation process
is to encourage communities within the proposed urban infill and redevelopment area
to participate in the design and implementation of the plan, including a "visioning"
of the urban core, before redevelopment.
(b)1. A neighborhood participation process must be developed to provide for the
ongoing involvement of stakeholder groups including, but not limited to, community-based
organizations, neighborhood associations, financial institutions, faith organizations,
housing authorities, financial institutions, existing businesses, businesses interested
in operating in the community, schools, and neighborhood residents, in preparing
and implementing the urban infill and redevelopment plan.
2. The neighborhood participation process must include a governance structure whereby
the local government shares decisionmaking authority for developing and implementing
the urban infill and redevelopment plan with communitywide representatives. For
example, the local government and community representatives could organize a corporation
under s. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code to implement specific redevelopment
(3) A local government seeking to designate a geographic area within its jurisdiction
as an urban infill and redevelopment area shall prepare a plan that describes the
infill and redevelopment objectives of the local government within the proposed
area. In lieu of preparing a new plan, the local government may demonstrate that
an existing plan or combination of plans associated with a community redevelopment
area, Florida Main Street program, Front Porch Florida Community, sustainable community,
enterprise zone, or neighborhood improvement district includes the factors listed
in paragraphs (a)-(n), including a collaborative and holistic community participation
process, or amend such existing plans to include these factors. The plan shall demonstrate
the local government and community's commitment to comprehensively address the urban
problems within the urban infill and redevelopment area and identify activities
and programs to accomplish locally identified goals such as code enforcement; improved
educational opportunities; reduction in crime; neighborhood revitalization and preservation;
provision of infrastructure needs, including mass transit and multimodal linkages;
and mixed-use planning to promote multifunctional redevelopment to improve both
the residential and commercial quality of life in the area. The plan shall also:
(a) Contain a map depicting the geographic area or areas to be included within the
(b) Confirm that the infill and redevelopment area is within an area designated
for urban uses in the local government's comprehensive plan.
(c) Identify and map existing enterprise zones, community redevelopment areas, community
development corporations, brownfield areas, downtown redevelopment districts, safe
neighborhood improvement districts, historic preservation districts, and empowerment
zones or enterprise communities located within the area proposed for designation
as an urban infill and redevelopment area and provide a framework for coordinating
infill and redevelopment programs within the urban core.
(d) Identify a memorandum of understanding between the district school board and
the local government jurisdiction regarding public school facilities located within
the urban infill and redevelopment area to identify how the school board will provide
priority to enhancing public school facilities and programs in the designated area,
including the reuse of existing buildings for schools within the area.
(e) Identify each neighborhood within the proposed area and state community preservation
and revitalization goals and projects identified through a collaborative and holistic
community participation process and how such projects will be implemented.
(f) Identify how the local government and community-based organizations intend to
implement affordable housing programs, including, but not limited to, economic and
community development programs administered by federal and state agencies, within
the urban infill and redevelopment area.
(g) Identify strategies for reducing crime.
(h) If applicable, provide guidelines for the adoption of land development regulations
specific to the urban infill and redevelopment area which include, for example,
setbacks and parking requirements appropriate to urban development.
(i) Identify and map any existing transportation concurrency exception areas and
any relevant public transportation corridors designated by a metropolitan planning
organization in its long-range transportation plans or by the local government in
its comprehensive plan for which the local government seeks designation as a transportation
concurrency exception area. For those areas, describe how public transportation,
pedestrian ways, and bikeways will be implemented as an alternative to increased
(j) Identify and adopt a package of financial and local government incentives which
the local government will offer for new development, expansion of existing development,
and redevelopment within the urban infill and redevelopment area. Examples of such
1. Waiver of license and permit fees.
2. Exemption of sales made in the urban infill and redevelopment area from local
option sales surtaxes imposed pursuant to s. 212.055.
3. Waiver of delinquent local taxes or fees to promote the return of property to
4. Expedited permitting.
5. Lower transportation impact fees for development which encourages more use of
public transit, pedestrian, and bicycle modes of transportation.
6. Prioritization of infrastructure spending within the urban infill and redevelopment
7. Local government absorption of developers' concurrency costs.
In order to be authorized to recognize the exemption from local option sales surtaxes
pursuant to subparagraph 2., the owner, lessee, or lessor of the new development,
expanding existing development, or redevelopment within the urban infill and redevelopment
area must file an application under oath with the governing body having jurisdiction
over the urban infill and redevelopment area where the business is located. The
application must include the name and address of the business claiming the exclusion
from collecting local option surtaxes; an address and assessment roll parcel number
of the urban infill and redevelopment area for which the exemption is being sought;
a description of the improvements made to accomplish the new development, expanding
development, or redevelopment of the real property; a copy of the building permit
application or the building permit issued for the development of the real property;
a new application for a certificate of registration with the Department of Revenue
with the address of the new development, expanding development, or redevelopment;
and the location of the property. The local government must review and approve the
application and submit the completed application and documentation along with a
copy of the ordinance adopted pursuant to subsection (5) to the Department of Revenue
in order for the business to become eligible to make sales exempt from local option
sales surtaxes in the urban infill and redevelopment area.
(k) Identify how activities and incentives within the urban infill and redevelopment
area will be coordinated and what administrative mechanism the local government
will use for the coordination.
(l) Identify how partnerships with the financial and business community will be
(m) Identify the governance structure that the local government will use to involve
community representatives in the implementation of the plan.
(n) Identify performance measures to evaluate the success of the local government
in implementing the urban infill and redevelopment plan.
(4) In order for a local government to designate an urban infill and redevelopment
area, it must amend its comprehensive land use plan under s. 163.3187 to delineate
the boundaries of the urban infill and redevelopment area within the future land
use element of its comprehensive plan pursuant to its adopted urban infill and redevelopment
plan. The state land planning agency shall review the boundary delineation of the
urban infill and redevelopment area in the future land use element under s. 163.3184
. However, an urban infill and redevelopment plan adopted by a local government
is not subject to review for compliance as defined by s. 163.3184 (1)(b), and the
local government is not required to adopt the plan as a comprehensive plan amendment.
An amendment to the local comprehensive plan to designate an urban infill and redevelopment
area is exempt from the twice-a-year amendment limitation of s. 163.3187.
(5) After the preparation of an urban infill and redevelopment plan or designation
of an existing plan, the local government shall adopt the plan by ordinance. Notice
for the public hearing on the ordinance must be in the form established in s. 166.041(3)(c)2.
for municipalities, and s. 125.66(4)(b)2. for counties.
(6)(a) In order to continue to be eligible for the economic and regulatory incentives
granted with respect to an urban infill and redevelopment area, the local government
must demonstrate during the evaluation, assessment, and review of its comprehensive
plan required pursuant to s. 163.3191 , that within designated urban infill and
redevelopment areas, the amount of combined annual residential, commercial, and
institutional development has increased by at least 10 percent.
(b) If the local government fails to implement the urban infill and redevelopment
plan in accordance with the deadlines set forth in the plan, the Department of Community
Affairs may seek to rescind the economic and regulatory incentives granted to the
urban infill and redevelopment area, subject to the provisions of chapter 120. The
action to rescind may be initiated 90 days after issuing a written letter of warning
to the local government.
History.--s. 1, ch. 99-378; s. 18, ch. 2000-317; s. 24, ch. 2001-60.
The following section makes available Tax Increment Financing
163.2520 Economic incentives.
(1) A local government with an adopted urban infill and redevelopment plan or plan
employed in lieu thereof may issue revenue bonds under s. 163.385 and employ
tax increment financing
under s. 163.387 for the purpose of financing the implementation
of the plan, except that in a charter county such incentives shall be employed consistent
with the provisions of s. 163.410.
(2) A local government with an adopted urban infill and redevelopment plan or plan
employed in lieu thereof may exercise the powers granted under s. 163.514 for community
redevelopment neighborhood improvement districts, including the authority to levy
(3) Prior to June 1 each year, areas designated by a local government as urban infill
and redevelopment areas shall be given a priority in the allocation of private activity
bonds from the state pool pursuant to s. 159.807.
History.--s. 1, ch. 99-378; s. 25, ch. 2001-60.
Planning Grants are Available -
163.2523 Grant program. --
An Urban Infill and Redevelopment Assistance Grant Program is created for local
governments. A local government may allocate grant money to special districts, including
community redevelopment agencies, and nonprofit community development organizations
to implement projects consistent with an adopted urban infill and redevelopment
plan or plan employed in lieu thereof. Thirty percent of the general revenue appropriated
for this program shall be available for planning grants to be used by local governments
for the development of an urban infill and redevelopment plan, including community
participation processes for the plan. Sixty percent of the general revenue appropriated
for this program shall be available for fifty/fifty matching grants for implementing
urban infill and redevelopment projects that further the objectives set forth in
the local government's adopted urban infill and redevelopment plan or plan employed
in lieu thereof. The remaining 10 percent of the revenue must be used for outright
grants for implementing projects requiring an expenditure of under $50,000. If the
volume of fundable applications under any of the allocations specified in this section
does not fully obligate the amount of the allocation, the Department of Community
Affairs may transfer the unused balance to the category having the highest dollar
value of applications eligible but unfunded. However, in no event may the percentage
of dollars allocated to outright grants for implementing projects exceed 20 percent
in any given fiscal year. Projects that provide employment opportunities to clients
of the WAGES program and projects within urban infill and redevelopment areas that
include a community redevelopment area, Florida Main Street program, Front Porch
Florida Community, sustainable community, enterprise zone, federal enterprise zone,
enterprise community, or neighborhood improvement district must be given an elevated
priority in the scoring of competing grant applications. The Division of Housing
and Community Development of the Department of Community Affairs shall administer
the grant program. The Department of Community Affairs shall adopt rules establishing
grant review criteria consistent with this section.
History.--s. 1, ch. 99-378; s. 20, ch. 2000-317.
The following is from the statute governing "CRAs"
It was referenced in the above sections on the Growth Policy Act to describe the
mechanics of how Tax Increment Financing was to be accessed
163.387 Redevelopment trust fund.
(1) There shall be established for each community redevelopment agency created under
s. 163.356 a redevelopment trust fund. Funds allocated to and deposited into this
fund shall be used by the agency to finance or refinance any community redevelopment
it undertakes pursuant to the approved community redevelopment plan. No community
redevelopment agency may receive or spend any increment revenues pursuant to this
section unless and until the governing body has, by ordinance, provided for the
funding of the redevelopment trust fund for the duration of a community redevelopment
plan. Such ordinance may be adopted only after the governing body has approved a
community redevelopment plan. The annual funding of the redevelopment trust fund
shall be in an amount not less than that increment in the income, proceeds, revenues,
and funds of each taxing authority derived from or held in connection with the undertaking
and carrying out of community redevelopment under this part. Such increment shall
be determined annually and shall be that amount equal to 95 percent of the difference
(a) The amount of ad valorem taxes levied each year by each taxing authority, exclusive
of any amount from any debt service millage, on taxable real property contained
within the geographic boundaries of a community redevelopment area; and
(b) The amount of ad valorem taxes which would have been produced by the rate upon
which the tax is levied each year by or for each taxing authority, exclusive of
any debt service millage, upon the total of the assessed value of the taxable real
property in the community redevelopment area as shown upon the most recent assessment
roll used in connection with the taxation of such property by each taxing authority
prior to the effective date of the ordinance providing for the funding of the trust
However, the governing body of any county as defined in s. 125.011 (1) may, in the
ordinance providing for the funding of a trust fund established with respect to
any community redevelopment area created on or after July 1, 1994, determine that
the amount to be funded by each taxing authority annually shall be less than 95
percent of the difference between paragraphs (a) and (b), but in no event shall
such amount be less than 50 percent of such difference.
(2)(a) Except for the purpose of funding the trust fund pursuant to subsection (3),
upon the adoption of an ordinance providing for funding of the redevelopment trust
fund as provided in this section, each taxing authority shall, by January 1 of each
year, appropriate to the trust fund for so long as any indebtedness pledging increment
revenues to the payment thereof is outstanding (but not to exceed 30 years) a sum
that is no less than the increment as defined and determined in subsection (1) accruing
to such taxing authority. If the community redevelopment plan is amended or modified
pursuant to s. 163.361 (1), each such taxing authority shall make the annual appropriation
for a period not to exceed 30 years after the date the governing body amends the
(b) Any taxing authority that does not pay the increment to the trust fund by January
1 shall pay to the trust fund an amount equal to 5 percent of the amount of the
increment and shall pay interest on the amount of the increment equal to 1 percent
for each month the increment is outstanding.
(c) The following public bodies or taxing authorities created prior to July 1, 1993,
are exempt from paragraph (a):
1. A special district that levies ad valorem taxes on taxable real property in more
than one county.
2. A special district the sole available source of revenue of which is ad valorem
taxes at the time an ordinance is adopted under this section.
3. A library district, except a library district in a jurisdiction where the community
redevelopment agency had validated bonds as of April 30, 1984.
4. A neighborhood improvement district created under the Safe Neighborhoods Act.
5. A metropolitan transportation authority.
6. A water management district created under s. 373.069.
(d)1. A local governing body that creates a community redevelopment agency under
s. 163.356 may exempt from paragraph (a) a special district that levies ad valorem
taxes within that community redevelopment area. The local governing body may grant
the exemption either in its sole discretion or in response to the request of the
special district. The local governing body must establish procedures by which a
special district may submit a written request to be exempted from paragraph (a)
within 120 days after July 1, 1993.
2. In deciding whether to deny or grant a special district's request for exemption
from paragraph (a), the local governing body must consider:
a. Any additional revenue sources of the community redevelopment agency which could
be used in lieu of the special district's tax increment.
b. The fiscal and operational impact on the community redevelopment agency.
c. The fiscal and operational impact on the special district.
d. The benefit to the specific purpose for which the special district was created.
The benefit to the special district must be based on specific projects contained
in the approved community redevelopment plan for the designated community redevelopment
e. The impact of the exemption on incurred debt and whether such exemption will
impair any outstanding bonds that have pledged tax increment revenues to the repayment
of the bonds.
f. The benefit of the activities of the special district to the approved community
g. The benefit of the activities of the special district to the area of operation
of the local governing body that created the community redevelopment agency.
3. The local governing body must hold a public hearing on a special district's request
for exemption after public notice of the hearing is published in a newspaper having
a general circulation in the county or municipality that created the community redevelopment
area. The notice must describe the time, date, place, and purpose of the hearing
and must identify generally the community redevelopment area covered by the plan
and the impact of the plan on the special district that requested the exemption.
4. If a local governing body grants an exemption to a special district under this
paragraph, the local governing body and the special district must enter into an
interlocal agreement that establishes the conditions of the exemption, including,
but not limited to, the period of time for which the exemption is granted.
5. If a local governing body denies a request for exemption by a special district,
the local governing body shall provide the special district with a written analysis
specifying the rationale for such denial. This written analysis must include, but
is not limited to, the following information:
a. A separate, detailed examination of each consideration listed in subparagraph
b. Specific examples of how the approved community redevelopment plan will benefit,
and has already benefited, the purpose for which the special district was created.
6. The decision to either deny or grant an exemption must be made by the local governing
body within 120 days after the date the written request was submitted to the local
governing body pursuant to the procedures established by such local governing body.
(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (2), the obligation of the governing
body which established the community redevelopment agency to fund the redevelopment
trust fund annually shall continue until all loans, advances, and indebtedness,
if any, and interest thereon, of a community redevelopment agency incurred as a
result of redevelopment in a community redevelopment area have been paid.
(4) The revenue bonds and notes of every issue under this part are payable solely
out of revenues pledged to and received by a community redevelopment agency and
deposited to its redevelopment trust fund. The lien created by such bonds or notes
shall not attach until the revenues referred to herein are deposited in the redevelopment
trust fund at the times, and to the extent that, such revenues accrue. The holders
of such bonds or notes have no right to require the imposition of any tax or the
establishment of any rate of taxation in order to obtain the amounts necessary to
pay and retire such bonds or notes.
(5) Revenue bonds issued under the provisions of this part shall not be deemed to
constitute a debt, liability, or obligation of the local governing body or the state
or any political subdivision thereof, or a pledge of the faith and credit of the
local governing body or the state or any political subdivision thereof, but shall
be payable solely from the revenues provided therefor. All such revenue bonds shall
contain on the face thereof a statement to the effect that the agency shall not
be obligated to pay the same or the interest thereon except from the revenues of
the community redevelopment agency held for that purpose and that neither the faith
and credit nor the taxing power of the local governing body or of the state or of
any political subdivision thereof is pledged to the payment of the principal of,
or the interest on, such bonds.
(6) Moneys in the redevelopment trust fund may be expended from time to time for
the following purposes, when directly related to financing or refinancing of redevelopment
in a community redevelopment area pursuant to an approved community redevelopment
(a) Administrative and overhead expenses necessary or incidental to the implementation
of a community redevelopment plan adopted by the agency.
(b) Expenses of redevelopment planning, surveys, and financial analysis, including
the reimbursement of the governing body or the community redevelopment agency for
such expenses incurred before the redevelopment plan was approved and adopted.
(c) The acquisition of real property in the redevelopment area.
(d) The clearance and preparation of any redevelopment area for redevelopment and
relocation of site occupants as provided in s. 163.370.
(e) The repayment of principal and interest or any redemption premium for loans,
advances, bonds, bond anticipation notes, and any other form of indebtedness.
(f) All expenses incidental to or connected with the issuance, sale, redemption,
retirement, or purchase of agency bonds, bond anticipation notes, or other form
of indebtedness, including funding of any reserve, redemption, or other fund or
account provided for in the ordinance or resolution authorizing such bonds, notes,
or other form of indebtedness.
(g) The development of affordable housing within the area.
(h) The development of community policing innovations.
(7) On the last day of the fiscal year of the community redevelopment agency, any
money which remains in the trust fund after the payment of expenses pursuant to
subsection (6) for such year shall be:
(a) Returned to each taxing authority which paid the increment in the proportion
that the amount of the payment of such taxing authority bears to the total amount
paid into the trust fund by all taxing authorities within the redevelopment area
for that year;
(b) Used to reduce the amount of any indebtedness to which increment revenues are
(c) Deposited into an escrow account for the purpose of later reducing any indebtedness
to which increment revenues are pledged; or
(d) Appropriated to a specific redevelopment project pursuant to an approved community
redevelopment plan which project will be completed within 3 years from the date
of such appropriation.
(8) Each community redevelopment agency shall provide for an independent financial
audit of the trust fund each fiscal year and a report of such audit. Such report
shall describe the amount and source of deposits into, and the amount and purpose
of withdrawals from, the trust fund during such fiscal year and the amount of principal
and interest paid during such year on any indebtedness to which is pledged increment
revenues and the remaining amount of such indebtedness. The agency shall provide
a copy of the report to each taxing authority.
History. --s. 11, ch. 77-391; s. 78, ch. 79-400; s. 9, ch. 83-231; s. 15, ch. 84-356;
s. 27, ch. 87-224; s. 35, ch. 91-45; s. 4, ch. 93-286; s. 10, ch. 94-236; s. 1,
ch. 94-344; s. 10, ch. 98-314.