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What is a Special District?

Water Control Special Districts, such as CCCDD, are governmental entities sometimes referred to as public or quasi-public corporations. Such Districts are organized for limited purposes, and their powers and authority are limited to serving those purposes or specific needs. As such, Special Districts are generally able to deliver the restrictive services more efficiently and economically than other forms of government. In connection with the specific services to the specific property governed by a Special District, only the owners of property in a Special District pay for the infrastructure and services

The primary responsibility of Special Water Control Districts concerns the construction, installation, and maintenance of water control structures and facilities. Maintenance functions include such projects as are deemed reasonably necessary to assure the canals and ditches under the control of the District are kept open and operational. Such projects include weed and brush control, general maintenance of water control and drainage facilities, and interaction with other Districts and governmental entities to help assure water control and proper drainage.

Pursuant to various provisions of the Florida Statutes, Special Districts are treated with respect to oversight and accountability in a manner similar to cities and counties. A great degree of transparency with respect to the operation of Special Districts is required. Among other accountability regulations which govern Special Districts are Florida’s Sunshine Laws, Public Records laws, and Standards of Ethics for Elected Officials. Each Special Water Control District is governed by a three-member board elected by the landowners within the District. The Supervisors of the District are not compensated for their public service.

Financial support for a Special District is by the assessment of non-ad valorem taxes. Non-ad valorem taxes are assessed on an acreage basis and are collected by the local tax collector with annual real estate taxes. Generally, Special Districts are also required to have their financial statements audited; however, certain smaller Districts such as CCCDD submit an annual local government Financial Report instead of an audit annually.