Special districts are the biggest thing you have probably never heard of. Special districts are government bodies created to provide a specific service or set of services for a designated area that would normally be covered by another government entity, such as a state, county, or municipal government. These districts often enjoy a great deal of administrative and fiscal independence.
Special districts have grown into the country’s most abundant type of local government. In fact, they now outnumber actual cities today by a 2-to-1 margin. There are more than 38,000 special districts in the United States, according to the latest U.S. Census data. In Arizona, there are more than 326 special districts that managed nearly $5.9 billion in assets in 2013, the most recent year for which data was available.
Burg Simpson’s civil suit lawyers have been fighting special districts on behalf of property owners for decades. We have also worked with homeowners who live in special districts to reassert their rights. Additionally, Burg Simpson Arizona has frequently worked as general counsel for resident-operated special districts. If you are caught up in a dispute with a special district, do not fight this battle alone. Get legal assistance from a Phoenix civil litigation attorney. Contact Burg Simpson by filling out a Free Case Evaluation form or call our Arizona office right now at 602-777-7000.
Arizona law imposes several regulations regarding special districts, such as:
Formation: To create a special district, a developer, for example, must submit a petition to the county board of supervisors, followed by a public hearing. An election may be required for final approval of district formation in certain circumstances. And, generally speaking, the county board of supervisors with jurisdiction has “the absolute authority to deny the formation of a special district in that county if sufficient grounds exist for the denial, but any denial may be subject to judicial review”. State law also spells out the procedures for altering and even dissolving special districts.
Organization: According to Arizona law, special districts may be organized under a county or municipality, or directly by residents. Most special districts also possess:
- A structural form
- An official name
- A limited purpose (most perform a single function)
- An elected governing body
- Continuous operation subject to a prescribed dissolution process
- The power to impose and collect taxes
- The power to incur governmental debt
- The right to sue and be sued
- The ability to make contracts and to obtain and dispose of property
Accountability and Oversight: Arizona law details reporting requirements for most special districts. Most of them must submit an annual report, a copy of an audit or financial review, and the district’s budget to the relevant county board of supervisors.
The annual report has to include:
- Financial information
- Descriptions of boundary changes
- Information on the governing board and district officers
- The schedule and location of regular meetings and public notices
- The name of the person completing the reporting requirements
- A copy of the financial audit or review if necessary
If you are a homeowner concerned with a special district not following Arizona law, call a commercial litigation lawyer at Burg Simpson in Phoenix now at 602-777-7000.
Speak to our Lawyers in Arizona Now
Do not let an unreasonable special district infringe on your rights as a homeowner. Contact an Arizona business lawyer at Burg Simpson by calling 602-777-7000 or fill out our Free Case Evaluation form before it’s too late.