Florida League of Cities

Business Damages Against Local Government (Oppose)

SB 620 (Hutson) and CS/HB 569 (McClure) require compensation for business damages caused by local government ordinances or charter provisions. A business that has been engaged in a lawful business in Florida for at least three years may claim business damages from a local government if the government enacts or amends an ordinance or charter provision that will cause a reduction of at least 15% of the business’ profit as applied on a per-location basis of a business operating within the jurisdiction. A local government is not liable for business damages caused by: ordinances required to comply with state or federal law; emergency ordinances, declarations or orders adopted pursuant to the state Emergency Management Act; a temporary emergency ordinance which remains in effect for no more than 90 days; ordinances or charter provisions enacted to implement: Part II of Chapter 163; Section 553.73; Section 633.202; a contract or an agreement, including contracts or agreements relating to grants or other financial assistance; debt issuance or refinancing; budgets or budget amendments. The bills specify procedures and methodologies for a business to recover business damages, attorney fees and costs against a local government. The bills’ provisions on attorney fee calculation and award are nearly identical to the business damage procedures set forth in Florida’s eminent domain statute. (O’Hara)