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- What is an improvement district?
- An improvement district is a legal entity subset of a city or county, formed by property owners organizing other property owners to sign petitions to form a district for the purpose of providing some kind of service to its property owners. These services are funded by a tax or “assessment” placed on the county real estate tax bill.
- What kinds of improvement districts are there?
- There is an almost endless list of the types of districts. water, sewer, watershed, levee, drainage, fire, lighting, bridge, stoplight, harbor, road, Central Business, Recreation, tax increment financing (“TIF”), new subdivision, lawn maintenance and many, many more. These may be used to borrow money to construct the infrastructure and / or maintain them in the future.
- How is an improvement district formed?
- A group of property owners holds informal meetings with other property owners to determine if there is an interest in providing a service and having a tax or “assessment” placed on their county real estate tax bills to pay for it. Improvement Districts, Inc. (“IDI”) helps form districts in every aspect except legal. We work with a number of attorneys to provide that service.
- What is the first step in forming an improvement district?
- After the informal meetings are held and the property owner interests are confirmed, contact IDI. Forming the District results from property owners signing a Petition (in the appropriate format) to determine the proper number of signatures has been obtained. These are then confirmed by a title company. Then the Petitions are sent to the County judge or City Council for formal creation of the District.
- Who is in charge of an improvement district?
- The Commissioners of the District have full, legal authority to conduct District business. Depending on the type of District, there may be 3 Commissioners or up to 7 Commissioners. Once approved, neither the County or City has any legal authority over the District, except to remove Commissioners at the formal request of the property owners.