While the regular legislative session doesn’t begin until March, many groups and organizations are already to kick things off with a new administration coming into power in Tallahassee, including the Florida League of Cities which released its “2019 Legislative Priorities & Policy Positions” this week.
The group’s top issues include local taxes, support for Community Redevelopment Agencies and annexation, local oversight for short-term rentals, medical marijuana and funding for affordable housing.
Taxation: The Communication Services Tax Protection
The League supports legislation that is revenue neutral and using it as an important revenue source for local government.
Sales Tax Fairness:
The League supports legislation to reform Florida’s sales tax laws that apply to online/e-commerce sales from out-of-state retailers.
The League insists the changes to these laws are needed to ensure that retailers are treated equitably.
Land Use & Economic Development
Community Redevelopment Agencies (CRAs):
Local CRAs have been criticized by state House Republicans as being nothing more than taxpayer welfare. But the League sees it differently.
The FLC wants to see legislation that will protect and improve municipalities’ use of community redevelopment agencies to effectively carry out redevelopment and community revitalization in accordance with Home Rule.
While the topic may not be the most popular of issues, this one has teeth. On this issue, big battles have taken place over the past few years about whether or not zoning laws dealing with short-term rentals should be given authority to the state or left to local control.
FLC thinks it should be done locally. The group supports legislation that restores local zoning authority with respect to short-term rental properties thereby preserving the integrity of Florida’s residential neighborhoods and communities. FLC opposes any bill that preempts municipal authority as it relates to the regulation of short-term rental properties.
The FLC wants legislation restoring municipal authority to regulate medical marijuana facilities within municipal boundaries.
School Resource Officers Funding
FLC supports legislation creating a dedicated and recurring state revenue stream to offset any impacts for those cities providing SROs to schools.
Priority Statement: Transportation Funding
The League supports legislation that preserves local control of transportation planning. The legislation should create an equitable transportation funding formula between the state, municipalities, and counties.
The FLC maintains its top priority is local control. For the upcoming legislative session, the group insists it is consistent, no matter who is in power in Tallahassee.
Contact Ed at Ed.Dean@FloridaDaily.com.