Who We Are
Community Development Districts:
In 1984, the State Legislature passed the Uniform Community Development Act, and created Community Development Districts in the State of Florida. The intent of the legislation is to establish and growth management tool which ensured that growth paid for growth and provided incentive for planned community development. Unlike Special Act Districts which are created by the State Legislature, Chapter 190, Community Develpment Districts are created by either the local government of the Cabinet and Governor. Chapter 190, dictates the general and special powers available to Community Development Districts.
Special Districts including CDD's are the most common and numerous form of local government in the State, and provide a significant portion of both capital infrastructure and operations for residents in the State of Florida.
History of Special Districts in Florida:
Districts in the State date back as far as 1822 when Florida was still a territory. That same year when Tallahassee was established as a half-way point between the territory's only two cities of Pensacola and St. Augustine and Territorial Legislators met and passed the Road, Highway, and Ferry Act of 1822 - Establishing the importance of transportation in the State and authorizing the creation of the first special districts. Soon after Florida became a State, in 1854 the Legislature created the first Speical District, to drain the Alachua Savannah, the District had a five-member commision and the authority to finance its activities by levying special assessments.
The popularity of the special district's to fund public works continued through the end of the 19th century as more settlers came to Florida. By the 1920's, the population had increased substaintially in response to Florida's land boom. Many special districts were created to finance large engineering projects, some of which are still in existence today, such as the South Florida Conservancy District and the Florida Inland Navigation District.
By the 1930's, the surge of new residents created the need for the first mosquito eradication district and other specialized districts. After World War II, the baby boom and Florida's growing popularity created the need for a variety of new special districts, such as aviation authorities and hyacinth control districts. Soon beach erosion, hospital, and fire control districts grew rapidly along with traditional road, bridge and drainage special districts.
Today, some form of special district covers the entire State of Florida and provides a myriad of services to Florida's growing population, and significantly contributes to the State's desire to manage and finance growth related activities through local forms of government, which maintain the State's low forms of taxation, such as no State Income Tax, etc.