Part 1: Introduction to a Community Development District
Community Development Districts (CDDs) are also known as Special Taxing Districts. CDD is defined as an area that has its own governing board and budget, but the majority of the funding comes from property taxes. CDDs are created for the purpose of improving the physical environment in which they exist, or for promoting economic development or social welfare.
A CDD is usually an unincorporated territory that is mostly residential, with only limited commercial or industrial land use. The Community Development District is a government entity that governs Homeowners Associations and Community Development Dues but has limited taxing power and can only collect property taxes from the residents of the CDD. The ongoing responsibilities of the CDD are to administer CDD bonds, operate and maintain the community facilities for the benefit of the property owners.
A CDD is governed by its Board of Supervisors which is elected initially by the landowners, then begins transitioning to residents of the CDD after six years of operation. The Office of the Supervisor of Elections oversees voting, and CDD Supervisors are subject to state ethics and financial disclosure laws. The CDD’s business is conducted so all meetings and records are open to the public. Public hearings are held on CDD assessments and the CDD’s budget is subject to an annual independent audit.
The benefits of living in a CDD are many. These include improved infrastructure, lower taxes, and better services like trash collection and maintenance. It also benefits residents by enabling them to maintain the character of their neighborhood while still receiving upgraded public amenities.
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