TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida Supreme Court released two opinions that begin to clear the way for an innovative energy financing solution known as property assessed clean energy (“PACE”). Yesterday’s decisions are part of the Court’s need to resolve four separate appeals challenging PACE programs for Leon County, Clean Energy Coastal Corridor, and the Florida Development Finance Corporation and are merely precursors to affirm the constitutionality of the PACE statute in Florida.
These opinions prevent the use of judicial foreclosure by PACE programs in Florida and directed Leon County and the Clean Energy Coastal Corridor to modify their programs to only use existing non-ad valorem tax bill collection methods.
The Florida PACE Funding Agency’s program was validated by the Court’s opinions and is allowed to continue offering their PACE program across the state without any modifications.
PACE programs allow property owners in participating cities and counties to add energy efficiency, renewable energy, or wind hardening improvements to their property, paid back through a voluntary special assessment.
“This is a good sign that the Court appears to be poised to respect the Legislature’s carefully drawn legislation providing for co-existence of PACE assessments and mortgages.” said James C. Dinkins, of Mark G. Lawson, P.A., who argued two of the four cases on behalf of the challengers. “We have always maintained that the statute is constitutional and sound public policy, if the law is followed,” continued Dinkins, who argued that two of the programs challenged should be disapproved because they did not comply with the law.
“We are pleased the Court’s opinions validated our funding and origination platform and we are looking forward to continued growth of our program,” said Jonathan Schaefer, Program Manager for the Florida PACE Funding Agency.
About The Florida PACE Funding Agency
The Florida PACE Funding Agency is a single purpose local government formed by the collaborative efforts of Flagler County and the City of Kissimmee, Florida. The Agency provides its innovative financing program for energy efficiency, renewable generation and wind-hardening improvements benefiting property owners and increasing construction jobs statewide. The Agency was set up as a public service for the benefit of participating counties and cities throughout the state.