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PabloCruise
03-29-2010, 11:15 PM
Does anyone live in a metropolitan district, or I think Colorado calls them "special districts" that provide public services the municipalities or counties cannot otherwise provide.

I am wondering how these compare to HOA's?

Any tax advantage/disadvantage?

Thanks for any info you can provide!

Hulk
03-29-2010, 11:22 PM
I think the difference is that the ownership of the land is public property rather than private property. That's the downside. The upside is that the money you pay can be deducted from your taxes, unlike HOA dues.

corsair23
03-30-2010, 12:43 AM
Eh...

We have a metro district AND HOA in the Ranch....Not sure if that is what you are looking for though :confused:

Metro District (their actual name) provides water services, park maintenance, and some other stuff. For police the Ranch contracts with Douglas County and for fire they contract with Littleton. I've never notice any "advantages" but maybe I'm missing out on something :hill:

Website if'n you're interested :) --> http://www.highlandsranch.org/

Old40Dog
03-30-2010, 06:42 AM
Does anyone live in a metropolitan district, or I think Colorado calls them "special districts" that provide public services the municipalities or counties cannot otherwise provide.

I am wondering how these compare to HOA's?

Any tax advantage/disadvantage?

Thanks for any info you can provide!

TJ, hope this helps with the basic differences.

Metro Districts

Title 32 of the Colorado Revised Statutes authorizes the creation of special districts. The title specifically authorizes the creation of ambulance, water, sanitation, water and sanitation, fire protection, parks and recreation and metropolitan districts. Special districts are defined as “quasi-municipal corporations” and there has been a history of competition between special districts and cities in Colorado. Developers have often preferred to use Metropolitan Districts to construct public improvements in new developments because they have been able to exercise a greater degree of control. Metro Districts have an independent governing body (a board of directors).

Characteristics include:

1. Legal authority: Colorado Revised Statutes (Metro Districts are independent political subdivisions of the state).

2. How initiated: Preparation of service plan. Resolution adopting plan by City Council, petition signed by at least 20% or 200 of taxpaying electors, public hearing, approval by district electors. Powers may theoretically be circumscribed by service plan. Enforceability of service plan not yet determined by courts.

3. Powers: To provide two or more of the following services: fire protection, mosquito control, parks and recreation, safety protection, sanitation, street improvement, television relay and translation, transportation and water. To impose fees and charges, to issue general obligation bonds (with election) and revenue bonds; to operate and maintain improvements (no statutory debt limitation); to levy and collect ad valorem taxes. (An ad valorem tax (Latin for according to value) is a tax based on the value of real estate or personal property.) Has operational and maintenance authority.

4. Construction: Can construct and acquire improvements. Developer control through board.

5. Cost apportionment: Through levy of ad valorem taxes and/or rates, fees and charges. Additional levy does not have to paid off at time of sale.

6. Board of Directors: Has own five person board of directors elected by qualified elector (see more about the two district structure in the Overview page)

7. Debt Issuance: Vote required for issuance of general obligation (ad valorem) debt. No requirement for public sale of debt. No specific structuring requirement. Maximum term of debt not to exceed 20 years. Refundable.

8. Dissolution: District has perpetual life. Can only be extinguished by ordinance and then only when debt retired.

HOA's

Homeowners associations are entities organized to govern the operation of common interest communities in Colorado. They are generally created by the developer (also called the declarant) of a new community and organized before the first unit is conveyed to a purchaser. Most commonly they are organized as nonprofit corporations, although they may also be organized as for-profit corporations or LLCs.

The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act (“CCIOA”), C.R.S. 38-33.3-101 et seq., was enacted in 1991 with the purpose of establishing a clear, comprehensive, and uniform framework for the creation and operation of common interest communities (including homeowners associations) in Colorado. A common interest community is defined in CCIOA as a community in which ownership of real property within the community obligates an owner to pay for the real estate taxes, insurance premiums, maintenance, or improvements of other real property (typically the common elements) within the community. Common interest communities are classified by CCIOA into three categories, (1) condominium communities, (2) cooperatives and (3) planned communities. Planned communities are typically single family home communities that have their own private common areas, such as open space, playgrounds, recreation center, or pools, but can also be mixed use communities that include retail units and/or condominiums. A community that does not contain common property is not considered a common interest community under CCIOA.


The board of directors and officers of a homeowners association function similar to that of other nonprofit corporations. However, homeowners associations often contract with property management companies to handle the daily functions of the association. Under CCIOA, Board members and officers not appointed by the declarant are generally not liable for actions taken or omissions made in the performance of their duties except for wanton and willful acts or omissions.

Corbet
03-30-2010, 07:01 AM
I have lived under both a HOA (Frisco) and currently with a Metro District (Durango) I am on the BOD here in Durango.

The biggest advantages with the Metro District I see are that fees are collected with homwowners property taxes. Much less problem with collections. Little tax advantage there too. Also the Metro District has to report back all actioins/budget/etc.. to the county and state. There is much more accountablility.

An HOA is basically a private entity that does what it wants. Its up to the group of homeowners to keep them in line.:rolleyes:

Inukshuk
03-30-2010, 11:12 AM
Does anyone live in a metropolitan district, or I think Colorado calls them "special districts" that provide public services the municipalities or counties cannot otherwise provide.
I am wondering how these compare to HOA's?
Any tax advantage/disadvantage?
Thanks for any info you can provide!

Do you have a few hours?

OldDog - where did you get all that! Nice.

Daniel
Resident Club Real Estate Attorney

PabloCruise
03-30-2010, 01:22 PM
Old40Dog - thank you!!!

Daniel, I would love to pick your brain on this.

My biggest concern is the infrastructure that is constructed using the assessment. I didn't want to buy in and then find out that the metro district is responsible for repaving the streets in 10-15 years. In the scenario I am looking at, the city has taken over maintenance responsibilty for the roads, sidewalks, etc...

SteveH
03-30-2010, 03:41 PM
One of the districts in the Springs has serious water problems (cost/availability), so you might do a Internet search on the district name and see if there's some particular buzz about the district you're looking at.

Inukshuk
03-30-2010, 04:56 PM
Daniel, I would love to pick your brain on this.

That could get expensive..... If its a few general question or questions you have about something that impacts you, I'd be happy to have a quick chat. A general discussion of Special Districts and/or SD's vs HOA's is quite a bit more involved and maybe for a CM campfire (if we are really bored and want to chase everyone away). We can also discuss hourly rates as I could use some spending money for CM! :thumb: