Bill Text: FL S1208 | 2021 | Regular Session | Introduced

NOTE: There are more recent revisions of this legislation. Read Latest Draft
Bill Title: Resiliency Energy Environment Florida (REEF) Program

Spectrum: Bipartisan Bill

Status: (Failed) 2021-04-30 - Died in Appropriations [S1208 Detail]

Download: Florida-2021-S1208-Introduced.html
       Florida Senate - 2021                                    SB 1208
       By Senator Rodriguez
       39-00420A-21                                          20211208__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to property assessed clean energy
    3         program; amending s. 163.08, F.S.; revising
    4         legislative intent regarding the types of improvements
    5         that qualify for specified financing under this act;
    6         defining and redefining terms; specifying that a
    7         property owner may apply to a PACE program for certain
    8         purposes; providing that costs incurred by the PACE
    9         program may be collected as a non-ad valorem
   10         assessment; authorizing a local government to enter
   11         into agreements with PACE administrators and to incur
   12         debt; authorizing a local government to enter into a
   13         PACE assessment contract only with the record owner of
   14         the affected property; revising the items a local
   15         government or a PACE administrator must reasonably
   16         determine before entering into a PACE contract;
   17         requiring a qualifying improvement to be affixed or
   18         plan to be affixed to specified properties before
   19         final funding; authorizing a PACE assessment contract
   20         to cover qualifying improvements on real properties
   21         under new construction; specifying the information a
   22         PACE administrator must provide each real property
   23         owner or an authorized representative about the
   24         qualifying improvements; requiring a PACE
   25         administrator to make specified determinations about a
   26         property owner’s ability to pay the annual PACE
   27         assessment; specifying information a PACE
   28         administrator must provide to the residential real
   29         property owner or an authorized representative before
   30         entering into a PACE assessment contract; specifying a
   31         timeframe within which a residential real property
   32         owner may cancel a PACE assessment contract;
   33         prohibiting the term of a PACE assessment contract
   34         from exceeding specified timeframes; prohibiting a
   35         PACE administrator from offering specified types of
   36         financing for residential real properties; prohibiting
   37         a PACE administrator from enrolling certain PACE
   38         contractors unless certain conditions are met;
   39         providing requirements that must be met before a PACE
   40         administrator may disburse funds; specifying marketing
   41         and communications guidelines that PACE administrators
   42         and PACE contractors must comply with when
   43         communicating with residential real property owners;
   44         prohibiting a PACE contractor from engaging in certain
   45         practices regarding pricing of qualifying improvement
   46         on residential real properties; providing an effective
   47         date.
   49  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   51         Section 1. Subsections (1), (2), (4), (6) through (10),
   52  (12), (13), and (14) of section 163.08, Florida Statutes, are
   53  amended, and subsections (17) through (25) are added to that
   54  section, to read:
   55         163.08 Supplemental authority for improvements to real
   56  property.—
   57         (1)(a) In chapter 2008-227, Laws of Florida, the
   58  Legislature amended the energy goal of the state comprehensive
   59  plan to provide, in part, that the state shall reduce its energy
   60  requirements through enhanced conservation and efficiency
   61  measures in all end-use sectors and reduce atmospheric carbon
   62  dioxide by promoting an increased use of renewable energy
   63  resources. That act also declared it the public policy of the
   64  state to play a leading role in developing and instituting
   65  energy management programs that promote energy conservation,
   66  energy security, and the reduction of greenhouse gases. In
   67  addition to establishing policies to promote the use of
   68  renewable energy, the Legislature provided for a schedule of
   69  increases in energy performance of buildings subject to the
   70  Florida Energy Efficiency Code for Building Construction. In
   71  chapter 2008-191, Laws of Florida, the Legislature adopted new
   72  energy conservation and greenhouse gas reduction comprehensive
   73  planning requirements for local governments. In the 2008 general
   74  election, the voters of this state approved a constitutional
   75  amendment authorizing the Legislature, by general law, to
   76  prohibit consideration of any change or improvement made for the
   77  purpose of improving a property’s resistance to wind or flood
   78  damage or the installation of a renewable energy source device
   79  in the determination of the assessed value of residential real
   80  property.
   81         (b) The Legislature finds that all energy-consuming
   82  improved properties that are not using energy conservation
   83  strategies contribute to the burden affecting all improved
   84  property resulting from fossil fuel energy production. Improved
   85  property that has been retrofitted with energy-related
   86  qualifying improvements receives the special benefit of
   87  alleviating the property’s burden from energy consumption. All
   88  improved properties not protected from wind or flood damage by
   89  wind or flood resistant resistance qualifying improvements
   90  contribute to the burden affecting all improved property
   91  resulting from potential wind or flood damage. Improved property
   92  that has been retrofitted with wind or flood resistant
   93  resistance qualifying improvements receives the special benefit
   94  of reducing the property’s burden from potential wind or flood
   95  damage. Further, the installation and operation of qualifying
   96  improvements not only benefit the affected properties for which
   97  the improvements are made, but also assist in fulfilling the
   98  goals of the state’s energy and hurricane mitigation policies.
   99         (c)Properties that do not use advanced technologies for
  100  wastewater removal contribute to the water quality problems
  101  affecting the state and particularly the coastal areas. Improved
  102  properties that have been retrofitted with advanced onsite
  103  treatment systems or have converted to central sewerage
  104  significantly benefit the quality of water that may enter
  105  streams, lakes, rivers, aquifers, canals, estuaries, or coastal
  106  areas. Properties that are not protected from harmful
  107  environmental health hazards contribute to the environmental
  108  health burdens affecting the state. Properties that have been
  109  improved to mitigate against or prevent environmental health
  110  hazards benefit the general environmental health of the people
  111  within this state.
  112         (d) In order to make qualifying improvements more
  113  affordable and assist property owners who wish to undertake such
  114  improvements, the Legislature finds that there is a compelling
  115  state interest in enabling property owners to voluntarily
  116  finance such improvements with local government assistance.
  117         (e)(c) The Legislature determines that the actions
  118  authorized under this section, including, but not limited to,
  119  the financing of qualifying improvements through the execution
  120  of property assessed clean energy assessment contracts financing
  121  agreements and the related imposition of voluntary assessments
  122  are reasonable and necessary to serve and achieve a compelling
  123  state interest and are necessary for the prosperity and welfare
  124  of the state and its property owners and inhabitants.
  125         (2) As used in this section, the term:
  126         (a)“Commercial real property” means, unless otherwise
  127  determined by a local government, any property not defined as a
  128  residential real property, that will be or is improved by a
  129  qualifying improvement, including, but not limited to, the
  130  following:
  131         1.A multifamily residential property comprised of five or
  132  more dwelling units.
  133         2.A commercial real property.
  134         3.An industrial building or property.
  135         4.Agricultural property.
  136         5.A residential property owned by a business entity.
  137         (b)(a) “Local government” means a county, a municipality, a
  138  dependent special district as defined in s. 189.012, or a
  139  separate legal entity created pursuant to s. 163.01(7).
  140         (c)(b)“PACE administrator” means an entity with whom a
  141  local government contracts to administer a PACE program.
  142         (d)“PACE assessment” means the non-ad valorem assessment
  143  securing the annual repayment of financing obtained by an owner
  144  of commercial or residential real property for a qualifying
  145  improvement under this chapter.
  146         (e)“PACE assessment contract” means the financing
  147  contract, under a PACE program, between a local government and a
  148  property owner for the acquisition or installation of qualifying
  149  improvements.
  150         (f)“PACE contractor” means an independent contractor who
  151  contracts with a property owner to install qualifying
  152  improvements on real property and is not the owner of such
  153  property.
  154         (g)“PACE program” means a program established by a local
  155  government, alone or in partnership with other local governments
  156  or a PACE administrator, to finance qualifying improvements on
  157  commercial or residential real properties.
  158         (h) “Qualifying improvement” includes any:
  159         1. Energy conservation and efficiency improvement, which is
  160  a measure to reduce consumption through conservation or a more
  161  efficient use of electricity, natural gas, propane, or other
  162  forms of energy on the property, including, but not limited to,
  163  air sealing; installation of insulation; installation of energy
  164  efficient heating, cooling, or ventilation systems; building
  165  modifications to increase the use of daylight; replacement of
  166  windows; installation of energy controls or energy recovery
  167  systems; installation of electric vehicle charging equipment;
  168  installation of battery storage systems; and installation of
  169  efficient lighting equipment.
  170         2. Renewable energy improvement, which is the installation
  171  of any system in which the electrical, mechanical, or thermal
  172  energy is produced from a method that uses one or more of the
  173  following fuels or energy sources: hydrogen, solar energy,
  174  geothermal energy, bioenergy, and wind energy.
  175         3. Wind, storm, and flood resistance improvement, which
  176  includes, but is not limited to:
  177         a. Improving the strength of the roof deck attachment.;
  178         b. Creating a secondary water barrier to prevent water
  179  intrusion.;
  180         c. Installing wind-resistant shingles.;
  181         d. Installing gable-end bracing.;
  182         e. Reinforcing roof-to-wall connections.;
  183         f. Installing storm shutters.; or
  184         g. Installing opening protections.
  185         h.Installing backup power or battery storage systems.
  186         4.Wastewater treatment improvement, which includes the
  187  replacement or improvement of an onsite sewage treatment and
  188  disposal system with an advanced onsite treatment and disposal
  189  system or technology or the replacement of an onsite sewage
  190  treatment and disposal system with a central sewage system. For
  191  purposes of this section, the term “wastewater treatment
  192  improvement” includes repairs or modifications made to an onsite
  193  sewage treatment and disposal system under s. 381.0065.
  194         5.Flood and water damage mitigation and resiliency
  195  improvement, which includes projects and installations:
  196         a.To raise a structure above the base flood elevation to
  197  reduce flood damage.
  198         b.To build or repair a flood diversion apparatus or sea
  199  wall improvement, which includes, but is not limited to, seawall
  200  repairs and replacements, banks, berms, green-grey
  201  infrastructure, upland stem walls, or other infrastructure that
  202  impedes tidal waters from flowing onto adjacent property or
  203  public right-of-way.
  204         c.That use flood damage resistant building materials.
  205         d.That mitigate or eliminate the potential for microbial
  206  growth.
  207         e.That use electrical, mechanical, plumbing, or other
  208  system improvements to reduce flood damage.
  209         f.That may qualify for reductions in flood insurance
  210  premiums.
  211         6.Health and environmental hazards measure or improvement,
  212  which is a measure or an improvement intended to mitigate
  213  harmful health and environmental hazards to property occupants,
  214  including measures or improvements that mitigate or remove:
  215         a.The presence of lead, heavy metals, polyfluoroalkyl
  216  substance contamination, or other harmful contaminants in
  217  potable water systems. Improvements may include conversion of
  218  well water to municipal water systems, replacement of lead water
  219  service lines, or installation of water filters.
  220         b.Asbestos.
  221         c.Lead paint contamination in housing built before 1978.
  222         d.Indoor air pollution or contaminants, including
  223  particulate matter, viruses, bacteria, and mold.
  224         7.Water conservation or efficiency improvement, which is a
  225  measure or improvement to reduce the usage of water or increase
  226  the efficiency of water usage.
  227         (i)“Residential real property” means a residential
  228  property of four or fewer dwelling units that may be benefited
  229  by installation of a qualifying improvement.
  230         (4) Subject to local government ordinance or resolution, a
  231  property owner may apply to a PACE program the local government
  232  for funding to finance a qualifying improvement and enter into a
  233  PACE assessment contract financing agreement with the local
  234  government. Costs incurred by the PACE program local government
  235  for such purpose may be collected as a non-ad valorem
  236  assessment. A non-ad valorem assessment shall be collected
  237  pursuant to s. 197.3632 and, notwithstanding s. 197.3632(8)(a),
  238  is shall not be subject to a discount for early payment.
  239  However, the notice and adoption requirements of s. 197.3632(4)
  240  do not apply if this section is used and complied with, and the
  241  intent resolution, publication of notice, and mailed notices to
  242  the property appraiser, tax collector, and Department of Revenue
  243  required by s. 197.3632(3)(a) may be provided on or before
  244  August 15 in conjunction with any non-ad valorem assessment
  245  authorized by this section, if the property appraiser, tax
  246  collector, and local government agree.
  247         (6) A local government may enter into an agreement with a
  248  PACE administrator to administer a PACE program A qualifying
  249  improvement program may be administered by a for-profit entity
  250  or a not-for-profit organization on behalf of and at the
  251  discretion of the local government.
  252         (7) A local government may incur debt for the purpose of
  253  providing financing for the such improvements, which is payable
  254  from revenues received from the improved property, or any other
  255  available revenue source authorized by law.
  256         (8) A local government may enter into a PACE assessment
  257  contract to finance or refinance a qualifying improvement
  258  financing agreement only with the record owner of the affected
  259  property. Any PACE assessment contract financing agreement
  260  entered into pursuant to this section or a summary memorandum of
  261  such contract agreement shall be submitted for recording
  262  recorded in the public records of the county within which the
  263  property is located by the sponsoring unit of local government
  264  within 5 days after execution of the contract agreement. The
  265  recorded contract agreement shall provide constructive notice
  266  that the PACE assessment to be levied on the property
  267  constitutes a lien of equal dignity to county taxes and
  268  assessments from the date of recordation.
  269         (9) Before entering into a PACE assessment contract
  270  financing agreement, the local government or the PACE
  271  administrator local government shall reasonably determine that:
  272         (a) All property taxes and any other assessments levied on
  273  the same bill as property taxes are current and have been paid
  274  and have not been delinquent for the preceding 3 years or the
  275  property owner’s period of ownership, whichever is less;
  276         (b) That there are no involuntary liens, including, but not
  277  limited to, construction liens on the property;
  278         (c) That no notices of default or other evidence of
  279  property-based debt delinquency have been recorded and not
  280  released during the preceding 3 years or the property owner’s
  281  period of ownership, whichever is less;
  282         (d)The property owner has recorded all other PACE
  283  assessments or that the PACE assessments have been funded and
  284  not yet recorded on the property; and
  285         (e) That the property owner is current on all mortgage debt
  286  on the property.
  287         (10) Before final funding, a qualifying improvement must
  288  shall be affixed or plan to be affixed to a commercial or
  289  residential real building or facility that is part of the
  290  property and shall constitute an improvement to that property
  291  the building or facility or a fixture attached to the building
  292  or facility. A PACE assessment contract An agreement between a
  293  local government and a qualifying property owner may not cover
  294  qualifying wind-resistance improvements on commercial or
  295  residential real properties in buildings or facilities under new
  296  construction or construction for which a certificate of
  297  occupancy or similar evidence of substantial completion of new
  298  construction or improvement has not been issued.
  299         (12)(a) Without the consent of the holders or loan
  300  servicers of any mortgage encumbering or otherwise secured by
  301  the property, the total amount of any non-ad valorem assessment
  302  for a property under this section may not exceed 20 percent of
  303  the just value of the property as determined by the county
  304  property appraiser.
  305         (b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), a PACE non-ad valorem
  306  assessment for a qualifying improvement defined in subparagraph
  307  (2)(h)1. (2)(b)1. or subparagraph (2)(h)2. (2)(b)2. that is
  308  supported by an energy audit is not subject to the limits in
  309  this subsection if the audit demonstrates that the annual energy
  310  savings from the qualified improvement equals or exceeds the
  311  annual repayment amount of the PACE non-ad valorem assessment.
  312         (13) At least 30 days before entering into a PACE
  313  assessment contract financing agreement, the property owner
  314  shall provide to the holders or loan servicers of any existing
  315  mortgages encumbering or otherwise secured by the property a
  316  notice of the owner’s intent to enter into a PACE assessment
  317  contract financing agreement together with the maximum principal
  318  amount to be financed and the maximum annual PACE assessment
  319  necessary to repay that amount. A verified copy or other proof
  320  of such notice shall be provided to the local government. A
  321  provision in any PACE assessment contract agreement between a
  322  mortgagee or other lienholder and a property owner, or otherwise
  323  now or hereafter binding upon a property owner, which allows for
  324  acceleration of payment of the mortgage, note, or lien or other
  325  unilateral modification solely as a result of entering into a
  326  PACE assessment contract financing agreement as provided for in
  327  this section is not enforceable. This subsection does not limit
  328  the authority of the holder or loan servicer to increase the
  329  required monthly escrow by an amount necessary to annually pay
  330  the annual PACE qualifying improvement assessment.
  331         (14) At or before the time a purchaser executes a contract
  332  for the sale and purchase of any property for which a PACE non
  333  ad valorem assessment has been levied under this section and has
  334  an unpaid balance due, the seller must shall give the
  335  prospective purchaser a written disclosure statement in the
  336  following form, which shall be set forth in the contract or in a
  337  separate writing:
  343         CONSERVATION.—The property being purchased is located
  344         within the jurisdiction of a local government that has
  345         placed an assessment on the property pursuant to s.
  346         163.08, Florida Statutes. The assessment is for a
  347         qualifying improvement to the property relating to
  348         energy efficiency, renewable energy, flood mitigation,
  349         or wind resistance, advanced technologies for
  350         wastewater treatment, environmental health, or water
  351         conservation, and is not based on the value of
  352         property. You are encouraged to contact the county
  353         property appraiser’s office to learn more about this
  354         and other assessments that may be provided by law.
  356         (17)Before entering into a PACE assessment contract for a
  357  qualifying improvement on a residential real property, a PACE
  358  administrator must reasonably determine that the property owner
  359  has an ability to pay the estimated annual PACE assessment
  360  based, at a minimum, on the following:
  361         (a)For property owners seeking PACE financing where the
  362  total estimated annual payment amount of all PACE assessments
  363  authorized on the property is $4,800 or less, or the equivalent
  364  of $400 per month, plus an additional amount that represents the
  365  rate of inflation established by the United States Bureau of
  366  Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index, the PACE administrator,
  367  at a minimum, must use the underwriting requirements in
  368  subsection (9) and confirm the property owner is not currently
  369  in bankruptcy in determining whether the property owner has a
  370  reasonable ability to pay the PACE assessment.
  371         (b)For property owners seeking PACE financing where the
  372  total estimated annual payment amount of all PACE assessments
  373  authorized on the property is greater than $4,800, or the
  374  equivalent of $400 per month, plus an additional amount that
  375  represents the rate of inflation established by the United
  376  States Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index, the
  377  PACE administrator, at a minimum, must use the underwriting
  378  requirements in subsection (9), to confirm that the property
  379  owner is not in bankruptcy and determine that the total
  380  estimated annual payment amount for all the PACE assessment
  381  contracts authorized on the property does not exceed 10 percent
  382  of the property owner’s annual household income. Income may be
  383  confirmed using information gathered from reputable third
  384  parties that provide reasonably reliable evidence of the
  385  property owner’s household income. Income may not be confirmed
  386  solely from a property owner’s statement.
  387         (18)Before entering into a PACE assessment contract for a
  388  qualifying improvement on a residential real property, the PACE
  389  administrator must:
  390         (a)Provide a financing estimate and disclosure to the
  391  residential real property owner that includes:
  392         1.The total amount estimated to be funded, including the
  393  cost of the qualifying improvements, program fees, and
  394  capitalized interest, if any.
  395         2.The estimated annual PACE assessment.
  396         3.The term of the PACE assessment.
  397         4.The fixed interest charged and estimated annual
  398  percentage rate.
  399         5.A description of the qualifying improvement.
  400         6.A disclosure that if the property owner sells or
  401  refinances the property, the property owner, as a condition of
  402  the sale or the refinance, may be required by a mortgage lender
  403  to pay off the full amount owed under each PACE assessment
  404  contract.
  405         7.A disclosure that the PACE assessment will be collected
  406  along with the property owner’s property taxes and will result
  407  in a lien on the property from the date the PACE assessment
  408  contract is executed.
  409         8.A disclosure that failure to pay the PACE assessment may
  410  result in penalties and fees, along with the issuance of a tax
  411  certificate that could result in the property owner losing the
  412  real property.
  413         (b)Conduct, with a residential real property owner or an
  414  authorized representative, an oral, recorded telephone call
  415  during which time the PACE administrator must use plain
  416  language. The PACE administrator must ask the residential real
  417  property owner if he or she would like to communicate primarily
  418  in a language other than English. A PACE administrator may not
  419  leave a voicemail to the residential real property owner to
  420  satisfy this requirement. A PACE administrator, as part of this
  421  telephone call, must confirm with the residential real property
  422  owner:
  423         1.That at least one residential real property owner has
  424  access to a copy of the PACE assessment contract and financing
  425  estimates and disclosures.
  426         2.The qualifying improvement that is being financed.
  427         3.The total estimated annual costs that the residential
  428  real property owner will have to pay under the PACE assessment
  429  contract, including applicable fees.
  430         4.The total estimated average monthly equivalent amount of
  431  funds the residential real property owner would have to save in
  432  order to pay the annual costs of the PACE assessment, including
  433  applicable fees.
  434         5.The estimated date the residential real property owner’s
  435  first property tax payment that includes the PACE assessment
  436  will be due.
  437         6.The term of the PACE assessment contract.
  438         7.That payments for the PACE assessment contract will
  439  cause the residential real property owner’s annual tax bill to
  440  increase, that payments will be made through an additional
  441  annual assessment on the property, and will be paid either
  442  directly to the county tax collector’s office as part of the
  443  total annual secured property tax bill or may be paid through
  444  the residential real property owner’s mortgage escrow account.
  445         8.That the qualifying residential property owner has
  446  disclosed whether the property has received or is seeking
  447  additional PACE assessments and has disclosed all other PACE
  448  assessments or special taxes that are or about to be placed on
  449  the property.
  450         9.That the property will be subject to a lien during the
  451  term of the PACE assessment contract and that the obligations
  452  under the contract may be required to be paid in full before the
  453  residential real property owner sells or refinances the
  454  property.
  455         10.That any potential utility or insurance savings are not
  456  guaranteed and will not reduce the PACE assessment or total
  457  assessment amount.
  458         11.That the PACE administrator or PACE contractor does not
  459  provide tax advice and that the residential real property owner
  460  should seek professional tax advice if he or she has questions
  461  regarding tax credits, tax deductibility, or other tax impacts
  462  of the qualifying improvement or the PACE assessment contract.
  463         (19)The residential real property owner may cancel the
  464  PACE assessment contract within 3 business days after signing
  465  the PACE assessment contract without any financial penalty for
  466  doing so.
  467         (20) The term of a PACE assessment contract on residential
  468  real property may not exceed the useful life of the qualifying
  469  improvement being installed or the weighted average useful life
  470  of all qualifying improvements being financed if multiple
  471  qualifying improvements are being financed. A financing term may
  472  not exceed 30 years.
  473         (21) A PACE administrator may not offer PACE assessment
  474  financing on any residential real property that includes any of
  475  the following:
  476         (a) A negative amortization schedule;
  477         (b) A balloon payment; or
  478         (c) Prepayment fees, other than nominal administrative
  479  costs.
  480         (22) For residential real property, a PACE administrator:
  481         (a) May not enroll a PACE contractor who offers PACE
  482  financing on residential real property unless:
  483         1. The PACE administrator must make a reasonable effort to
  484  review that the PACE contractor maintains in good standing an
  485  appropriate license from the state, if applicable, as well as
  486  any other permits, licenses, or registrations required for
  487  engaging in its business in the jurisdiction where it operates
  488  and maintains all state required bond and insurance coverage.
  489         2. A PACE administrator obtains the PACE contractor’s
  490  written agreement that the PACE contractor will act in
  491  accordance with all applicable laws, including applicable
  492  advertising and marketing laws and regulations.
  493         (b) Must maintain a process to enroll new PACE contractors
  494  that includes reasonable review of the following for each
  495  contractor:
  496         1. Relevant work or project history.
  497         2. Financial and reputational background checks.
  498         3. Criminal background check.
  499         4. Status on Better Business Bureau or other online
  500  platforms that track contractor reviews.
  501         (23)(a) Before disbursing funds to a PACE contractor for a
  502  qualifying improvement on residential real property, a PACE
  503  administrator must first confirm the applicable work or service
  504  has been completed, either through written certification from
  505  the property owner, a recorded telephone call with the property
  506  owner, or a site inspection through third-party means.
  507         (b) A PACE administrator may not disclose to a PACE
  508  contractor or to a third party engaged in soliciting a PACE
  509  assessment contract the maximum PACE financing amount that a for
  510  which a residential real property owner is eligible.
  511         (24) Each PACE administrator and PACE contractor must
  512  comply with the following marketing and communications
  513  guidelines when communicating with residential real property
  514  owners:
  515         (a) A PACE administrator or PACE contractor may not suggest
  516  or imply:
  517         1. That PACE is a government assistance program;
  518         2. That qualifying improvements are free or that PACE
  519  assessment financing is a free program; or
  520         3. That the financing of a qualifying improvement using the
  521  PACE program does not require the property owner to repay the
  522  financial obligation.
  523         (b) A PACE administrator or PACE contractor may not make
  524  any representation as to the tax deductibility of a PACE
  525  assessment on residential real property. A PACE administrator or
  526  PACE contractor may encourage a property owner to seek the
  527  advice of a tax professional regarding tax matters related to
  528  PACE assessments.
  529         (25) A PACE contractor should not present a higher price
  530  for a qualifying improvement on residential real property
  531  financed by a PACE assessment contract than the PACE contractor
  532  would otherwise reasonably present if the qualifying improvement
  533  were not being financed through a PACE assessment contract.
  534         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2021.