Future of special taxing districts uncertain

Governor Rick Scott will issue an executive order to review most of the special taxing districts in the state according to an announcement from budget director, Jerry McDaniel, during a presentation he made Thursday before the Senate Budget Committee.

McDaniel said he didn’t think the review would “take them all on in a short time frame,” but he did mention, by name, community development districts. Community development districts provide a mechanism to finance and manage new communities.

There are more than 1,615 special tax districts that are active in Florida, information from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity show. In all, the districts reported $15.5 billion in revenue during fiscal year 2009. A tax district can support a variety of issues a community needs, and range from fire services to providing water. During a presentation of the governor’s proposed 2012-13 budget McDaniel said Scott already reviewed water management districts and is still reviewing hospital districts.

McDaniel said the executive order was being worked on now and that it could be issued as early as January.

McDaniel said the review is necessary because many people “pay blindly” and aren’t aware of the taxes they regularly pay.

Photo credits: © 2011 Historic City News staff photographer

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