Learning About Metropolitan Districts

Posted on: 16 March 2022

If you live in Colorado, the term "metropolitan district" is everywhere, but for newcomers to the state, the term might be confusing. The state has cities and counties but also these metropolitan districts that seem to handle similar duties that cities and county governments did in their home states. Metropolitan districts are special governmental units that do handle many issues that a city government might cover in another state; in Colorado, they are specifically tax districts that provide services in exchange for tax money outside of what residents pay for or get from cities and counties. They are usually created by property developers.

What Is a Metro District?

So what is a Metro District exactly? A metropolitan district is a tax district in the state of Colorado that promises and delivers at least two public services to residents of that district. These districts are typically started by developers who want to build. The voters in a district have to approve taxes and funding, but according to the Denver Post, the initial voters are usually the developers themselves plus others like their spouses. Property is built, often outside a major city core (although a metro district can be located within the limits of a city), and those who buy homes there have a tax that they pay to the metro district in addition to school and city taxes.

Why Were They Created?

Metro districts aren't necessarily municipal shortcuts, but they allow developers to gain access to funding in an easier way than by appealing to a city, while also getting the infrastructure for that area built in a timely manner. The developers build and sell the homes in the district and provide things such as a fire protection district or sidewalk creation and maintenance. They have to provide at least two services, but they can provide more.

How Do They Differ From Cities and Counties?

Metro districts function like their own little city government, just for the developments within the district. This has brought up issues of transparency and accountability in the past, and Colorado has taken steps to increase transparency to buyers of the properties within the district. These districts are able to complete and manage public infrastructure in a faster way, allowing cities and counties to expand development.

Is a Metropolitan District the Same as a Special District?

A metro district is a type of special district. You'll find special districts in just about every state; for example, in Texas, you'll find Municipal Utility Districts that offer similar functions. So a metro district is a special district, but you can have special districts that are not metro districts.

Metro districts do have a number of advantages. Anyone moving to the state who is looking to buy a home in a metropolitan district should look at what taxes and bonds in the district have been like over the past decade or so. The taxes for a metro district can change, just as a city property tax might change, and it's good for buyers to know what to expect.


Going Back To School

After spending years away from school, I realized that I needed to get a degree if I wanted to advance at all at work. However, I was really nervous about heading back into the classroom with people that were around 30 years younger than I was. Although I was really nervous about it, I picked out my hippest outfit, gathered together some school supplies, and registered for classes. This blog is all about continuing your education, going back to school, and doing what you want to with your life for the first time. After all, you can be anything you want to be with the right education.

Latest Posts