By DOTTY NIST
An existing closure of vacation rentals has been extended and collection of documentary stamp taxes on U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) loans has also been suspended in two recent executive orders (EOs) issued by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
DeSantis issued the orders, which apply statewide, in early April.
Issued on April 10, EO 2020-103 extended Gov. DeSantis’s two-week suspension of vacation rental operations statewide. The original suspension order had taken effect on March 29. It had prohibited vacation rental operations from making new reservations/bookings and from allowing check-ins during the effective period of the order.
The order was aimed at reducing Florida residents’ risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus from people coming in from other states and from international travel.
Exempted from the order are hotels, motels, inns, resorts, non-transient public lodging establishments, time-share projects, long-term rentals, and rentals to people performing military, emergency, governmental, health or infrastructure response, and travelers “engaged in non-vacation commercial activities.”
The state Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), which regulates vacation rentals by Florida Statutes, has been charged with implementing the order, with inspection of properties and/or third-party advertising platforms for vacations rentals to be undertaken as necessary.
Violations and attempts to violate the order by advertising of properties are subject to second-degree misdemeanor charges and penalties (imprisonment for up to 60 days and/or a fine of up to $500).
Taking effect on April 3, EO 2020-95 provided for suspension of the collection of documentary stamp taxes with disaster loans provided to small businesses by the Small Business Administration (SBA) in connection with the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
This executive order is aimed at encouraging small businesses in Florida to apply for these loans in the interest of the state and people.
The documentary stamp tax is an excise tax on certain documents executed, delivered or recorded in Florida, among those loan documents. The stamp tax rate is 35 cents per $100 of loan amount.
EO 2020-95 is to remain in effect during the effective period of EO 2020-52, Gov. DeSantis’s original order directing a declaration of a public health emergency for COVID-19. EO 202052 was issued on March 9 and set up to expire 60 days from issuance unless extended.
EOS viewable online
These and Gov. DeSantis’s other executive orders related to the COVID-19 emergency (and his other EOs) may be viewed online at the link: https://www.flgov.com/2020-executive-orders/