Tax Exemption for Leased Educational Properties
Educational institutions in Florida have long benefited from a tax exemption for properties that it owns. However, educational institutions often enter long-term, minimal cost leases, for properties they build on and those properties were subject to taxes. We successfully passed legislation that now provides a tax exemption on properties leased for 98 years or more by an educational entity.
Took FAU to the Top
During the 2019 Legislative Session, CCC successfully lobbied to help secure $12 million new recurring dollars for Florida Atlantic University’s FAU 100, which will play a vital role for FAU to become a top 100 ranked institutions in the US. Additionally, CCC secured capital outlay funding totaling $11.5 million for the A.D. Henderson FAU Lab School and $11 million for the Jupiter STEM Life Sciences Building.
Secured Major Higher Ed Funding
Capital City Consulting successfully navigates public colleges and universities throughout the appropriations process. To enable a campus expansion for Florida International University we secured $8 million to help meet the needs of the expanding South Florida community. In addition, more than $7 million in continuation funding has been appropriated, funding the build-out of generators, cooling towers, and other power redundancy projects. Curriculum initiatives have also seen success, such as $3 million for STEM courses and a program to improve student success and graduation rates.
Amendments That Made a Difference
On behalf of school districts, we recently amended the local sales tax for infrastructure law to allow districts to purchase classroom technology using sales tax funds generated for infrastructure. We have also amended Florida’s Clean Air Act to authorize districts to regulate smoking on their property and by their employees in order to receive health insurance premium reductions.
Earned Millions of Education Dollars
Capital City Consulting’s deep experience in education makes our success unmatched in the appropriation process. Recently, we secured $500,000 in career and technical funding for Brevard Schools; $1.5 million in fixed capital outlay for a manufacturing training center for Brevard Schools; $2 million for storm surge mitigation for Collier Schools; and $500,000 for a summer learning academy on behalf of Sarasota Schools. These appropriations were secured for public school districts under the leadership of a Speaker who favored chartered schools over traditional public schools, which highlights our ability to overcome political obstacles to achieve client goals.
Protected Sarasota’s Schools
For the School District of Sarasota County, we ensured that legislative proposals that impacted local government’s ability to put millage referendums on the ballot did not affect the ability of Sarasota School District to renew additional operating millage through a local referendum option.
Shored Up Important Revenue Source
School districts often rely on nontraditional revenue sources to help their funding. In order to support these opportunities, Capital City Consulting amended state law to preempt state road sign ordinances to allow school districts to continue to sell sponsorship signs around sports stadiums that can be viewed by drivers on interstates or other state roads.
New Funding for New College
As Florida’s smallest state university, the New College of Florida utilizes Capital City Consulting’s appropriations expertise to access key members of leadership to secure funding in the state budget. Due to its size of 800 students, New College of Florida is unable to rely solely on tuition and fees to fund growth and program changes. Instead, they rely on Capital City Consulting to secure special appropriations from the Legislature. Since 2015, Capital City Consulting has secured more than $10.9 million in the budget for special operations projects at New College of Florida. This is in addition to $9 million secured in fixed capital outlay projects secured at the same time.
Saved School Districts Millions
Amended proposed legislation that would have diverted millions of dollars in voter-approved funding from public schools and interfered with current contracts. By ensuring that any legislation was prospective, we were able to save school districts millions of dollars and ensure that funds set aside for initiatives like teacher pay raises and school security were able to be spent in the way they were intended.
Gave Our Schools Flexibility
Amended state law to provide greater flexibility for school district fixed capital outlay. As a direct result of the legislation, Florida’s school districts are no longer required to obtain education plant survey approval from the department and cost per student station caps no longer apply in many instances. This legislative change eliminated red tape and allowed school districts to build the schools their community needs in the locations where they are needed.
Fought for Student Benefits
Lobbied for a change to state law so that all students at the University of Florida receive the full benefits of their Bright Futures Scholarship regardless of which semesters they attend classes.