Chapter 270 Public Lands

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Published: 2015

CHAPTER 270
PUBLIC LANDS

270.01 Grant to aid construction of certain railroads accepted.

270.02 Titles of purchasers and transferees of railroad companies confirmed.

270.07 Certain public lands not to be sold without advertisement.

270.08 Notice of sale of public lands.

270.10 Sections not to impair law relative to homesteads, preemptions, or grants of lands for certain purposes.

270.11 Contracts for sale of public lands to reserve certain mineral rights; prohibition on exercise of right of entry in certain cases.

270.16 Preservation of equity of state in lands sold; board of trustees may compromise unpaid balance.

270.17 Foreclosure of mortgage for balance of purchase price on state lands.

270.18 Tax liens extinguished when lands revert to state; exception.

270.19 Reconveyance to state; extinguishes tax liens.

270.20 When title reverts to state; lands go back to department from which it originated.

270.21 Transactions to which sections applicable.

270.22 Proceeds of state lands to go into Internal Improvement Trust Fund; exception.

270.23 Disposition of proceeds of state lands.

270.24 Payment of special assessments or levies upon state lands.

270.25 Special assessments or levies shall remain liens subject to payment.

270.26 Lands to which sections do not apply.

270.27 Sale of unused public lands.

270.01 Grant to aid construction of certain railroads accepted.—The lands, rights and privileges granted to, and conferred upon, the state by the Act of Congress entitled “An Act granting public lands in alternate sections to the States of Florida and Alabama, to aid in the construction of certain railroads in said states,” approved May 17, 1856, are accepted upon the terms, conditions and restrictions in said Act of Congress.
History.—s. 1, ch. 776, 1856; RS 447; GS 636; RGS 1215; CGL 1760.

270.02 Titles of purchasers and transferees of railroad companies confirmed.—To remove all doubt as to the title of the purchasers and transferees, and their assigns, from the several railroad companies, of the land granted by the United States to the state, to aid in the construction of certain railroads in this state, by Act of Congress, approved May 17, 1856, the state has granted and confirmed to the purchasers and transferees from the several railroad companies which accepted the provisions of the act entitled, “An Act to provide for and encourage a liberal system of internal improvements in this state,” approved January 6, 1855, and their assigns, the lands and titles thereto, which were granted to the state by the United States to aid in the construction of certain railroads in this state by Act of Congress, approved May 17, 1856; which said lands were afterwards selected and located for the several railroad companies accepting the provisions of this act as aforesaid, along the line of their respective roads, to the extent and in the proportion to which they severally became entitled under the said act to provide for and encourage a liberal system of internal improvements in this state, and the said Act of Congress granted the same.
History.—Ch. 3152, 1879; RS 448; GS 637; RGS 1216; CGL 1761.

270.07 Certain public lands not to be sold without advertisement.—Any lands in the state that are now, or may hereafter be, vested in the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund of the state may not be sold, conveyed, or disposed of by the board of trustees until notice as provided in s. 253.115 has been given; however, this section does not apply to homestead, railroad, or canal grants, as provided for by law, nor to any conveyance under s. 253.111.
History.—s. 1, ch. 5943, 1909; RGS 1222; CGL 1767; s. 1091, ch. 19355, 1939; CGL 1940 Supp. 892(410); s. 2, ch. 61-119; s. 2, ch. 65-324; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 76, ch. 71-355; s. 498, ch. 94-356.

270.08 Notice of sale of public lands.—When the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund considers it expedient to sell any of the lands that are vested in the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund of the state, it must give notice of the sale as provided in s. 253.115. This section does not limit the applicability of s. 253.111.
History.—s. 2, ch. 5943, 1909; s. 1, ch. 6452, 1913; RGS 1223; CGL 1768; s. 1092, ch. 19355, 1939; CGL 1940 Supp. 892(411); s. 2, ch. 61-119; s. 3, ch. 65-324; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 76, ch. 71-355; s. 499, ch. 94-356.

270.10 Sections not to impair law relative to homesteads, preemptions, or grants of lands for certain purposes.—Sections 270.07 and 270.08 shall in nowise impair the law of the state relative to homesteads or preemptions, or the law relative to the granting of lands for the construction of highways, public roads and canals.
History.—s. 4, ch. 5943, 1909; RGS 1225; CGL 1770; s. 1094, ch. 19355, 1939; CGL 1940 Supp. 892(413); s. 38, ch. 99-13.

270.11 Contracts for sale of public lands to reserve certain mineral rights; prohibition on exercise of right of entry in certain cases.—
(1) Unless the applicable agency chooses not to reserve such interest and except as otherwise provided by law, in all contracts and deeds for the sale of land executed by the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund or by any local government, water management district, or other agency of the state, there shall be reserved for such local government, water management district, other agency of the state, or the board of trustees and its successors an undivided three-fourths interest in, and title in and to an undivided three-fourths interest in, all the phosphate, minerals, and metals that are or may be in, on, or under the said land and an undivided one-half interest in all the petroleum that is or may be in, on, or under said land with the privilege to mine and develop the same.

(2)(a) The Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund may, in its discretion, sell or release any reserved interest or any portion thereof in or as to any particular parcel of land, and the State Board of Education may sell or release any such interest or any portion thereof which was reserved for said board pursuant to this section prior to September 1, 1967. Such sale or release shall be made on application of the owner of the title to the particular parcel of land with statement of reason justifying such sale or release.

(b) The right of entry in respect to any interest in phosphate, minerals, and metals or any interest in petroleum heretofore or hereafter reserved in favor of the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund or the State Board of Education is hereby released as to any parcel of property that is, or ever has been, a contiguous tract of less than 20 acres in the aggregate under the same ownership.

(3) A local government, water management district, or agency of the state may, at its discretion, sell or release reserved interest in any parcel of land, except that such sale or release shall be made upon petition of the purchaser for such interest and with a statement of reasons justifying such sale or release.

(4) Any state agency, except a water management district, which receives royalties for parcels shall remit any such moneys into the General Revenue Fund, unless otherwise provided by law.

History.—ss. 1, 2, ch. 6159, 1911; RGS 1226; CGL 1771; s. 1095, ch. 19355, 1939; CGL 1940 Supp. 892(414); s. 1, ch. 26849, 1951; s. 1, ch. 59-220; s. 2, ch. 61-119; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 76, ch. 71-355; s. 1, ch. 86-205; s. 1, ch. 86-257; s. 9, ch. 2001-256.

270.16 Preservation of equity of state in lands sold; board of trustees may compromise unpaid balance.—In the sale of state lands or other state property, whether made in the name of the state or in the name of any state agency, when such sale is or has been made upon the basis of partial payment or payments upon said lands or other property and the remainder or balance of payment or payments is or was secured by note or notes, in turn secured by mortgage or mortgages, or other paper or instrument obligating the lands or property, or any part thereof, to the payment of any remaining or balance of payment or payments, the equity and interest of the state or any state agency making such sale as represented by said notes, mortgages, or other such instruments, shall never be extinguished, canceled or impaired so long as the obligation to the state or state agency shall remain unpaid or unfulfilled; provided, the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund may, in its discretion, compromise, or compound, any unpaid balance on any contract to purchase any lands over which said board of trustees has jurisdiction and control, where such contract to purchase is secured by a mortgage, if no less than 25 percent of the agreed purchase price has been theretofore paid.
History.—s. 1, ch. 15641, 1931; CGL 1936 Supp. 1771(6); s. 2, ch. 61-119; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106.

270.17 Foreclosure of mortgage for balance of purchase price on state lands.—The state, or any agency of the state in which was vested the primary title to said land or other property, may in case of nonpayment of the full purchase price upon said lands or other property sold by the state or its agency and subject to mortgage or other instrument of indebtedness held by the state or its agency, foreclose upon said mortgage or mortgages or other instrument of indebtedness, and recover said lands or other property subject to the liens for any taxes imposed upon said lands or other property; and upon the completion of said foreclosure and reinvestment of title to such lands or other property in the state or its agency, the state or its agency may pay all unpaid taxes or special assessments, not including interest, penalties, and costs, upon said lands and other property, which were legally assessable and collectible as if held and owned by the state or its agency.
History.—s. 2, ch. 15641, 1931; CGL 1936 Supp. 1771(7).

270.18 Tax liens extinguished when lands revert to state; exception.—Reinstatement of title in the state or its agency shall, by foreclosure or otherwise, operate to extinguish all liens for all taxes or assessments to which the lands would not have been subject had the title been in the state or its agency; provided, however, that any tax certificate or tax deed issued upon such lands or other property in the hands of a person, private firm or private corporation, shall represent a valid obligation against the said lands, and said certificate may be redeemed and paid for by the said state or its agency as provided by law in other cases for the purchase or redemption of tax certificates, and in case of deed, by paying to the holder the amount paid by him or her, plus interest at 6 percent per annum since the date of the said deed.
History.—s. 3, ch. 15641, 1931; CGL 1936 Supp. 1771(8); s. 183, ch. 95-148.

270.19 Reconveyance to state; extinguishes tax liens.—Reinstatement of title by reconveyance or by forfeiture covering land or other property for which the state or its agency holds mortgage, or other instrument of indebtedness, or the vesting of title to lands or other property in the state or in its agency in any other manner, shall have the same effect as to tax or assessment liens as set forth in s. 270.18.
History.—s. 4, ch. 15641, 1931; CGL 1936 Supp. 1771(9).

270.20 When title reverts to state; lands go back to department from which it originated.—When title to lands or other property becomes vested in the state or its agency under ss. 270.16-270.19, such lands or other property shall be covered into that state fund or state department from which they originated or to which they may be conveyed. When title to lands or other property becomes so vested in the state or its agency, the title which may hereafter issue, from the state or its agency, will be a complete, new, independent title originating in the sovereign.
History.—s. 5, ch. 15641, 1931; CGL 1936 Supp. 1771(10).

270.21 Transactions to which sections applicable.—The provisions of ss. 270.16-270.18 shall apply to all transactions of the state, or any agency thereof, of the kind described in said sections in which the state or its agency has an equity.
History.—s. 6, ch. 15641, 1931; CGL 1936 Supp. 1771(11).

270.22 Proceeds of state lands to go into Internal Improvement Trust Fund; exception.—
(1) Except as provided in subsection (2), the proceeds of state land, whether from sale, lease, rental, or the sale, lease, or rental of products in, on, or under such land, title to which has been or may be vested in the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund by the Legislature of this state, or of land which has been or may be received by the board of trustees from other sources, shall be paid into the Internal Improvement Trust Fund to become a part of that fund, subject to disposition as is provided by the laws of this state relating thereto.

(2) Rental fees for aquaculture leases pursuant to s. 253.71(2) shall be deposited into the General Inspection Trust Fund of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Such fees generated by shellfish-related aquaculture leases shall be used for shellfish-related aquaculture activities, including research, lease compliance inspections, mapping, and siting.

History.—s. 1, ch. 17272, 1935; CGL 1936 Supp. 1771(12); s. 2, ch. 61-119; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 13, ch. 79-65; s. 4, ch. 82-185; s. 25, ch. 89-175; s. 3, ch. 91-187; s. 4, ch. 91-286; s. 109, ch. 94-356; s. 13, ch. 96-321; s. 7, ch. 2000-364.

270.23 Disposition of proceeds of state lands.—After payments have been made to the State School Trust Fund, as provided by the constitution and by law, any balance shall be and remain a part of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund to be applied by the board of trustees of that fund to the payment of the expenses and the administration of that fund, including the lands thereof, and to such other purposes as prescribed by law.
History.—s. 2, ch. 17272, 1935; CGL 1936 Supp. 1771(13); s. 2, ch. 61-119; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 14, ch. 79-65; s. 5, ch. 82-185.

270.24 Payment of special assessments or levies upon state lands.—Where the lands of the state, title to which is vested in the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund, are subject to special assessments or special levies of taxes imposed by authority of the Legislature, the board of trustees may pay such special assessments or special levies out of moneys received from the sale of lands so taxed, and said special assessments or special levies which shall include accumulated amounts, if any, shall be due and payable on the next due date for the collection of such special assessments or special levies after the sale of said land. And land conveyed into other ownership by legislative grant or by the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund, without monetary consideration or its equivalent, shall pass the obligation against the land for the payment of such special assessments or special levies to the grantee.
History.—s. 3, ch. 17272, 1935; CGL 1936 Supp. 1771(14); s. 2, ch. 61-119; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106.

270.25 Special assessments or levies shall remain liens subject to payment.—Special assessments or special levies heretofore imposed by legislative authority, which are now a lien upon the lands, title to which is in the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund, shall continue as a lien subject to payment as provided for in s. 270.24; provided, however, that the provisions of this section shall not operate to extinguish or impair any obligation heretofore imposed upon said lands to pay special assessments or special taxes heretofore levied.
History.—s. 4, ch. 17272, 1935; CGL 1936 Supp. 1771(15); s. 2, ch. 61-119; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106.

270.26 Lands to which sections do not apply.—The provisions of ss. 270.22-270.25 shall not apply to any lands, title to which has vested or which may vest in the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund through any law foreclosing the lien for taxes until all such liens shall have been satisfied as provided by law.
History.—s. 5, ch. 17272, 1935; CGL 1936 Supp. 1771(16); s. 2, ch. 61-119; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106.

270.27 Sale of unused public lands.—
(1) The Department of Management Services is hereby authorized to sell, to the best possible advantage, any or all detached pieces or parcels of land held by the state for the use of any institution under the supervision and control of the department, whenever, in the judgment of the department, such detached pieces or parcels of land are not suitable for, or necessary and useful in, the operation and maintenance of such institution, and the proceeds from the sale of such land could be used to better advantage than said land in the operation and maintenance of such institution.

(2) The proceeds derived from the sale of any land, as authorized in this section, shall be deposited in the State Treasury to the account of the Department of Management Services for the use of the particular institution from the sale of whose lands said funds were derived. Such funds may be used, from time to time, by the department for the purpose of acquiring additional lands that may be needed for the particular institution credited with such funds, or for needed buildings or repairs for such institution, in the discretion of the department; and such funds, when obtained, are hereby appropriated for such purposes.

(3) The department is authorized to sell and convey, to the best possible advantage, any piece or parcel of land held by the state or by the department and located north of Pensacola Street in the City of Tallahassee and to receive as payment or part payment therefor any piece or parcel, or pieces or parcels, of land located within what is known as the Capitol Center at the state capital. The department, prior to the sale of any such piece or parcel of land, shall cause the same to be appraised by two or more competent appraisers and shall likewise have appraised in like manner any piece or parcel, or pieces or parcels, of land which the department proposes to acquire as payment or part payment for any piece or parcel of land proposed to be sold.

History.—ss. 1, 2, ch. 20524, 1941; s. 1, ch. 57-88; ss. 22, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 2, ch. 75-70; s. 42, ch. 85-349; s. 198, ch. 92-279; s. 55, ch. 92-326.
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