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The Special Assessment Districts (formerly known as Special Taxing Districts) Division is responsible through Chapter 18 of the Code of Miami-Dade County for the creation, management and operation of special taxing districts. Currently, there are over 1,000 active districts comprised of approximately 271,000 households in unincorporated and municipal neighborhoods throughout Miami-Dade County. These districts provide a wide array of services such as street lighting, security guards, guardhouses, multi-purpose maintenance, and capital improvement projects. tips. 

These districts are petitioned for and voted on by the homeowners within the area or created by developers at the inception of a development project. These services are beyond those traditionally provided by County government and are billed to property owners as non-ad valorem assessments included in their annual property tax bill. By creating these districts, communities have the opportunity to make improvements in the public areas of their neighborhoods which could not be conveniently done otherwise.

If you are selling a property that is within a special taxing district, you are required to inform buyers that the property is located within a special taxing district and that buyers will be required to pay special annual assessments. To read the ordinance, click here.

Effective Nov. 8, 2016, Miami-Dade County voters approved a Charter Amendment under Ordinance No. 16-14 (Miami-Dade County, Fla., Code. Ch. 18, art. I, §18-3.1) authorizing municipalities to act as the governing body for special taxing districts located entirely within their municipalities.

Homeowners or Homeowner Associations interested in creating, dissolving or transferring their districts to their municipalities may obtain detailed instructions from the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department, Special Assessment Districts Division, Stephen P. Clark Center, 111 NW 1st Street, 15th floor, Miami, FL 33128.

Helpful Information

Administrative Code

Frequently Asked Questions

Guidelines

Information Request

  • What is a non-ad valorem assessment?

    A non-ad valorem assessment is a charge levied to cover the cost of providing a specific service that benefits certain properties. There are two types of non-ad valorem assessment associated with special taxing districts – capital assessment and variable rate assessment. These assessments may be for, solid waste management (collection and disposal of household garbage), street lighting, community specific services such as security guard, and installation of water/sewer utility lines. Non-ad valorem assessments differ from property taxes (ad valorem) because they are levied on the basis of benefit rather than property value and because they are assigned to specific properties rather than all properties in a general taxing district.

    Non-ad valorem special assessments are billed annually on the Property Tax statement and are collected by the County Tax Collector’s office. Please visit the Property Appraiser’s webpage to look up your property and obtain a breakdown of your property taxes

    Capital Assessment

    A capital assessment represents a one-time levy of a specific amount (cost share) assigned for a specific improvement project. A capital assessment includes financing arrangements that enable repayment of the assessment over a fixed period of time. Capital assessments are generally related to construction projects, as such projects often require extended repayment terms to enhance affordability.

    The details or terms of an assessment are identified early in the special taxing district application process and are communicated to property owners during the petition for creating a special taxing District phase. A preliminary assessment (based on estimated project cost) is recorded as a lien when a special taxing district for a capital project is established. Property owners are notified of project status and cost factors throughout the project. When the project has been completed, the assessment and lien records are updated to reflect a final levy based on the actual project cost. After the final assessment amount is confirmed, property owners have the right to pay their property assessment in full at any time.

    Beginning with the first available tax roll following project completion, annual installment payments are collected via the property tax bill until the assessment is paid in full. Following receipt of full payment of a capital assessment, a document confirming the lien satisfaction will be processed.

    Variable Rate Assessment

    A “variable rate” assessment represents the cost share assigned to a property on an annual basis for services or improvements that are provided by the County on an ongoing basis and/or for an indefinite period of time. The variable rate assessment format is used for funding street lighting, landscape and lake management, and security guards. The service scope and cost expectations for a proposed special taxing district with a variable rate assessment are identified early in the special taxing district application process and are communicated to property owners during the petition for creating a special taxing district phase; and/or via public notice when the creation of a variable rate special taxing district is scheduled for consideration by the Board of County Commissioners (BCC).

    The initial assessment for a variable rate special taxing district is levied via the first available tax roll following the creation of the district. The assessment amount for subsequent years will be determined annually per the budgeted cost for providing the authorized public service. The rate proposed annually by the Special Assessment Districts Division is subject to approval by the BCC.

    Variable rate assessments are levied in advance of the costs being incurred.


    What are capital improvement districts?
    Capital improvement districts provide for (one-time) upgrades or improvements within the public right-of-way. For example, water/sewer, drainage, utilities and other roadway improvements. As of FY18-19, there are 2 active districts that provided improvements to approximately 152 properties.


    What are security guard districts?
    Security guard districts provide stationary guards and guardhouses at the entrances of residential communities. Security guard districts are also created to provide roving security guard services in a neighborhood. As of FY18-19, there are 27 security guard districts that provide services to approximately 7,166 properties.


    What are street lighting districts?
    Street lighting districts provide street lights in residential communities and commercial areas along public rights-of-way. These districts allow for illumination during evening hours, increase visibility and provide a safety feature in communities. As of FY 18-19, there are 863 fiscally active street lighting districts accounting for 42,428 lights distributed over 34,718 poles which are maintained by Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) and Homestead Public Services (HPS).


    What are multipurpose maintenance districts?
    Multipurpose maintenance districts provide services such as landscape maintenance, aquatic weed control in lakes, maintenance of community walls and entrance features. As of FY18-19, maintenance services are being provided in 117 districts servicing approximately 31,708 properties.

    To see if you live in a fiscally active special taxing district, enter your address and select the “Taxing Districts” tab.

  • How do I report a service problem or make a request?

    Special Assessment Districts Division representatives are available to assist with inquiries about special taxing districts managed by Miami-Dade County.  

    Minor Street Light Repair Requests (light out, broken globe, etc.)

    The lights on the public rights-of-way are serviced by the same power company that provides electricity to your home. Please provide the address nearest to the light location and/or the pole number (stamped on a metal plate at eye level on the pole).

    Power company contact information below:

    Repairs are normally completed within approximately seven (7) to twenty-one (21) days. However, more extensive repairs are sometimes required and can often take several weeks or more for completion.

    If you have difficulty reporting repairs or receiving service, please email stdp@miamidade.gov or call SADD at 305-375-2702.

    Extensive Street Light Repairs (such as replacement of a damaged pole)

    For extensive NON-EMERGENCY repairs of special taxing street lighting equipment (such as replacement of a damaged pole), please call SADD at 305-375-2702 or submit the online repair request form. Please provide the address nearest to the light location and/or the pole number (stamped on a metal plate at eye level on the pole).

    Multipurpose Maintenance

    Multipurpose maintenance districts are maintained by the PROS Sports Maintenance and Landscape Services Division.  To report a concern or obtain information regarding the services being provided, please call 305-386-5239 or complete the online repair request form.

    Report Security Guard Concerns (broken guard gate, malfunctioning equipment, etc.)

    To report a concern, please complete the online repair request form or call SADD at 305-375-2702 or 305-375-2005.

    Request New Transponder for Guardhouse Districts

    If you are in need of a replacement transponder or just moved into the neighborhood, you may fill out the online request form or call SADD at 305-375-2702.  Only one device per vehicle registration submitted is given.  All new residents applying get the first two (2) devices at no cost.  Please provide the following information for the request to be processed.

    • Copy of vehicle registration
      • If the vehicle does not reflect your current address in the special taxing district you may provide:
        • Home lease agreement
        • Homeowner Association approval letter
        • Driver’s license with current district address
        • Vehicle insurance information
        • Closing statement reflecting address
  • How can I create a special taxing district?

    Special taxing districts provide an alternative funding opportunity for residents of unincorporated Miami-Dade County to make improvements in the public areas of their neighborhoods which could not be conveniently or equitably done otherwise. Each property owner within a special taxing district shares in the cost associated with the specific service or improvement.  Interested homeowners or developers may apply for the establishment of a special taxing district.

    The process to create a special taxing district differs between developers and homeowners.

    If you are a developer:

    1. District creation is required during the land development process.
    2. Petition package is prepared for developer to complete.
    3. Developer is responsible for administrative and first year costs.
    4. Legislative package is prepared for Board of County Commission (BCC) approval.
      • First Reading
      • Public Hearing
    5. No election required.
    6. Implementation phase.
      • Varies according to the status of the development

    If you are a homeowner:

    1. Letter of intent is received from Homeowner Association (HOA) or homeowners.
      • For homeowners, 10 percent of the resident owners' signatures are required.
      • Districts are only created within municipal boundaries as long as the municipality is in support to create and operate.
    2. Petition package is prepared for homeowner to complete.
      • Signatures of 50 + 1 percent of the resident owners is required.
      • If requesting a guard district, petitioner must obtain a traffic study along with a resolution from the municipality agreeing to create and operate the district.
    3. Legislative package is prepared for BCC approval.
      • First Reading
      • Public Hearing
    4. Election
      • Majority of qualified voters approve.
      • Election is not necessary if 100% of the resident owners’ signatures are received.
    5. Collection of Special Assessments.
      • Covers administrative and first year's cost.
    6. Implementation phase
      • Varies according to the type of Special Taxing District.

    Applications & Forms

    • Step Process to Create a Special Taxing District 
    • Special Taxing Districts Program Brochure
    • Special Taxing Creation Application Packet
  • How can I dissolve a special taxing district?

    The process to dissolve a special taxing district is at the request of homesteaded homeowners or the district’s Homeowner Association (HOA).

    1. Letter of intent is received from homesteaded homeowners or HOA.
      • For homeowners, 10 percent of the resident owners' signatures are required.
    2. Petition package is prepared for homeowner to complete.
      • Signatures of 50 +1 percent of the resident owners required.
    3. Legislative package is prepared for Board of County Commission (BCC) approval.
      • First Reading
      • Public Hearing
        • If approved, BCC rescinds assessment roll.
    4. No election required.
    5. Services cease.
    6. Financial reconciliation.
      • If there is a surplus in the district's accounts, the Department refunds any excess funds, reimbursing owners for unexpended special assessments, minus the costs of dissolving the district. If there is a deficit, each owner is responsible for paying their share of the remaining balance, including the costs of dissolving the district, if any, in the following tax year.
    7. Removal of fixtures.
      • For street lighting districts, the lights are removed at the existing district’s cost, according to Florida Power & Light's (FPL) SL-1 Rate Schedule. The district will pay FPL an amount equal to the original installed cost of the removed facilities less any salvage value and any depreciation, plus removal costs. Depreciation is calculated based on current depreciation rates as approved by the Florida Public Service Commission.
  • Property-sale related information

    Assessment Notification

    Property owners have the right to be mailed a notice of proposed and adopted non-ad valorem assessments. A Notice of Proposed Non-Ad Valorem Assessment is mailed annually (typically between May and June) to the owners of property included in the assessed boundary of any special taxing district whose rate is increasing. The notice provides information regarding the proposed and/or adopted assessments, property owner rights, and related public hearing activities. The annual notice includes all levied assessments – both variable rate and the installment payments to be collected via the property tax bill for that tax year.

    Payment Responsibility

    Non-ad valorem assessments are assigned to property, not individuals. Therefore, for both types of assessments, at any given point in time, the current owner of the assessed property is accountable for paying assessments that are due. Since the non-ad valorem assessments are property specific, when a property sale takes place, the Special Assessment Districts Division (SADD) does not distinguish between former owner and new owner. SADD simply views the amount as being due from the current owner.

    As a general rule, the County does not require payment of outstanding assessments prior to the sale of property. In most sale situations, payment of outstanding assessments is a negotiated settlement factor between the buyer and the seller. However, an exception to this rule is related to assessments that are delinquent through non-payment of property taxes. When property taxes or assessments are not paid by the statutory due date, a tax certificate may be issued by the Tax Collector and a tax lien may be placed on the property for the delinquent amount. In these cases, the debt must be satisfied at the time of property sale.

    Although Miami-Dade County may not require payment of the assessment balance at the time of property sale, some mortgage companies may require lien satisfaction in order to finance or refinance the property. These assessment payment decisions are determined by property owners. The decision to make early payoff, as well as the decision regarding who will pay the capital project assessment balance is between the buyer and the seller.

    Property Tax Year? Fiscal Year? Assessment year?

    When the closing cost associated with a property sale is calculated, questions often arise as to who (buyer or seller) should be financially responsible for various costs. Property taxes and assessments are often included in closing costs and settlement negotiations. Given the terminology differences in regard to property taxes (ad valorem taxes) and assessments (non-ad valorem assessments), and the differences as to how the two are levied and applied to operating budgets, the concepts can be a bit confusing. To challenge the situation further, there are different types of non-ad valorem assessments (capital and variable rate) that yield different implications in regard to the amount posted to the property tax bill. The following clarification is offered to assist property owners and prospective owners in making closing cost decisions:

    • A fiscal year is different than a property tax year.
      • The fiscal year (budgetary/financial operations) for Miami-Dade County spans from October to September.
      • A property tax year spans from January to December of any given year with taxes collected in arrears.
    • The assessment period for a variable rate assessment is not the same as the property tax year.
      • The assessment period for a variable rate assessment can be for a fiscal year (budget year) or calendar year depending on the specific assessment.
      • Variable rate assessments are collected in advance while the property taxes are collected in arrears.
    • Capital assessments are either paid in full through the ______ or are collected via annual installment payments via the property tax bill.
    • Non-ad valorem assessments and installments payments are due when property taxes are due and paid.
      • The property taxes collected via the 2017 Property tax year are for tax year 2017 [Jan 2017 – Dec 2017] and are due by March 31, 2018.

    Examples of Variable Rate Assessment & Service Year

    • A street lighting assessment billed via the 2017 Property tax bill is for the operation of street lighting equipment during the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2017 and ending September 30, 2018.
    • A multipurpose assessment billed via the 2017 Property tax bill is for services to be provided during the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2017 and ending September 30, 2018.

    Examples of Capital Improvement Project Assessments

    • A capital assessment installment billing included on the 2017 Property Tax bill for underwire construction represents a scheduled installment payment due towards repayment of a capital assessment that was levied when the underwire project was completed. The amount of the installment and the number of annual payments was determined when the assessment was levied.

Phone Number(s)

  • Special Assessment Districts Division
    305-375-2702305-375-2702

Email / Mail

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