New laws
Posted December 26, 2019 | 2:39 PM

Some New County Ordinances May Affect You

Measures address wide-ranging topics

Twenty-seven new local ordinances went on the books in Hillsborough County in 2019.

They include restrictions on vaping, additions to a state law on sex trafficking, and parameters for spending a transportation surtax that voters approved last year.

Here, in no special order, are a few of the ordinances passed in 2019 by the Board of County Commissioners:

Approved in November, this decree strengthens local vaping laws. No one under age 21 may possess electronic cigarettes or similar devices. The measure requires signs in stores proclaiming the sale of vaping products to anyone under 21 is illegal. The ordinance prohibits vaping where smoking is not allowed, and at playgrounds, recreation centers, or anywhere else where children gather.

Human Sex Trafficking Signage

This measure expands upon an existing ordinance requiring signs at businesses such as adult clubs that let potential victims of human trafficking know help is available. It directs employers to ensure the signs not only are in English and Spanish, but also Mandarin, Cantonese, and any other languages spoken by employees. It mandates posting the signs in bathroom stalls and dressing rooms.

Use, Allocation, and Distribution of Transportation Sales Surtax

The County adopted an ordinance generally providing for the use, allocation, and distribution of proceeds of the transportation sales surtax.

Updated Fire Service Impact Fees

In June, County leaders approved an ordinance updating a fire service impact fee first adopted in 1988. The act ensures new development pays its share of costs to build and equip fire stations needed to accommodate growth, without diminishing current levels of service. The ordinance also adds an emergency rescue service (EMS) component to the impact fee.

Pet license and registration options

Owners of dogs, cats, and ferrets in Hillsborough County now may get multi-year rabies vaccinations for their pets. That has been the state standard for years, but the County required annual vaccinations as part of its license/registration program. The new ordinance makes the County requirements consistent with Florida law and current practices in other counties.

Child Care Licensing Amendments

As the local overseer of child care center licensing, Hillsborough County must meet or exceed requirements of Florida law. Responding to recent changes to state statutes and recommendations by staff, the County enacted two ordinances reflecting these revisions that strengthen licensing, safety, and operational standards in child care settings.

Increase in Tourist Tax

An ordinance adopted in June raises the Tourist Development Tax by one percent, making a total tax of six percent. Hillsborough County received the option to raise its tourist tax by one cent on the dollar when the state Department of Revenue certified Hillsborough as a high tourism impact county. Tourist development tax revenue is spent in accordance with state laws.

Moratoriums on Some Rezonings in Parts of South County

In December, the Board of County Commissioners enacted a pair of nine-month moratoriums to ensure the County has solid plans for future development in Wimauma, Balm, and Sun City Center. The moratoriums allow time for County staff to work with stakeholders to update development regulations that apply to these areas of the County.

Photo: A new Hillsborough County ordinance places more age restrictions on vaping.


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