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Special Districts Litigation

Special districts are independent, single-purpose governmental units that exist separately from local governments. Special districts provide necessary public services that a county or municipality could not otherwise offer. Some examples of special districts include:

Fire protection

Parks and recreation

Mosquito control

Safety protection

Sanitation

Roads and infrastructure improvements

Solid waste disposal facilities or collection and transportation of solid waste

Transportation

Water

Television relay and translation

Covenant enforcement

Special districts must not be used for private benefit, but instead are compelled to provide public services and facilities. Developers who use special districts as a source of private funds may be in violation of the law.

The commercial litigation attorneys at Burg Simpson have successfully represented property owners who have objected to special districts. We have also represented individuals who reside within special districts to help them gain control of the districts from the developers that are often reluctant to give up power. Our firm has successfully obtained judgments against developers that have misused special districts, and successfully invalidated agreements that would have forced taxpayers to pay for improper expenses.

If you are involved in a conflict with a special district, call a Burg Simpson corporate litigation attorney right away at (866) 234-7768.

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Special districts are independent, single-purpose governmental units that exist separately from local governments. Special districts provide necessary public services that a county or municipality could not otherwise offer. Some examples of special districts include:

  • Fire protection

  • Parks and recreation

  • Mosquito control

  • Safety protection

  • Sanitation

  • Roads and infrastructure improvements

  • Solid waste disposal facilities or collection and transportation of solid waste

  • Transportation

  • Water

  • Television relay and translation

  • Covenant enforcement


Special districts must not be used for private benefit, but instead are compelled to provide public services and facilities. Developers who use special districts as a source of private funds may be in violation of the law.

The commercial litigation attorneys at Burg Simpson have successfully represented property owners who have objected to special districts. We have also represented individuals who reside within special districts to help them gain control of the districts from the developers that are often reluctant to give up power. Our firm has successfully obtained judgments against developers that have misused special districts, and successfully invalidated agreements that would have forced taxpayers to pay for improper expenses.

If you are involved in a conflict with a special district, call a Burg Simpson corporate litigation attorney right away at (866) 234-7768.

Benefits of Special Districts

When properly used, special districts provide essential services. However, developers can misuse these districts, often putting their own private interests ahead of the public good. These districts are created according to a very strict statutory process, with limited timelines allowed for property owners to object.

Some of the benefits of special districts are:

  • Special districts can raise funds for public infrastructure through municipal bonds, or other governmental grant or loan programs if applicable, with favorable rates not available to private entities.

  • Special districts do not make a profit from the facilities and services provided. Specific statutes govern the expenditures and revenues of special districts.

  • These districts are exempt from sales, use, and other taxes for equipment, supplies, and services, which allows lower overhead costs.

  • Budgets set by the state, audits, and other financial filing and reporting requirements provide regulatory oversight of the special district’s operations.

  • These districts have governmental immunity against certain legal actions, thus avoiding expensive lawsuits and subsequent tax or fee increases.

  • Special districts are governed by local control over the provided services. They are responsive and accountable for decisions through elections and public hearing processes. Special districts’ business is conducted at public meetings.

  • Because of their local nature, special districts are often better equipped to address community issues than a larger county or municipality could.


Legal Obligations of Special Districts

State laws pose strict limits for what services county governments can offer residents, so special districts are created to fill the gaps that are left. Most special districts draw their boundaries in unincorporated county land, but they can also include residents of municipalities.

As political subdivisions of the state, special districts must submit several different filings throughout the year, such as financial filings, election results, boards of directors, and more. Some of the most crucial paperwork includes:

  • Service plan: One of the most important documents a special district has to file with its state is a service plan, which details the services the district will be responsible for. The service plan also lays out a financial plan for the acquisition of necessary facilities. Service plans must be submitted to the board of county commissioners or the appropriate municipal board.

  • Annual audit: Special districts must submit an audit of their financial statements or otherwise file for an exemption. Either of these must be filed annually and are required to be conducted independently. Audit exemptions are typically only for districts with smaller budgets and require submission of financial information compiled by finance professionals and must be approved by the State Auditor.

  • Annual budget: Every special district is required to file an annual budget. In addition to projected operating costs, the annual budget must include a note regarding significant budget issues, the basis of accounting, and any leases the district is committed to.


Contact Burg Simpson for Help with Special Districts Litigation

If you have concerns regarding metropolitan or other special districts, reach out to the experienced commercial litigation attorneys at Burg Simpson. We have successfully tried special districts cases. Call us at (866) 234-7768 or fill out a free case evaluation form today.

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