What is the purpose of the Golden Lakes CDD?
The District was created to finance and manage the acquisition, construction, operate and maintain of a portion of the infrastructure necessary for community development. The Ordinance establishing the District authorizes the District to issue bonds for the purpose of financing, funding, planning, establishing, acquiring, constructing or reconstructing, enlarging or extending, equipping, operating and maintaining water management, water supply, sewer and wastewater management, bridges or culverts, roadways, street lights and other basic infrastructure projects within or without the boundaries of the District as provided in the establishment Ordinance.
Do I pay higher taxes because I live in the Golden Lakes CDD?
Yes, in a sense. In addition to service charges and taxes collected by the County, City, School Board, and other agencies, notwithstanding the existence of the District, landowners will also pay non-ad valorem assessments related to capital costs and operation and maintenance costs of District facilities and services. While these assessments are not taxes, the District assessments will appear on your property tax bill which you receive annually from the Polk County Tax Collector.
What is the difference between an ad valorem assessment and a non-ad valorem assessment?
An ad valorem assessment is based on value, whereas a non-ad valorem assessment is not.
Your annual real estate taxes are ad valorem, meaning they are based on the value of the property and infrastructure, while CDD assessments are non-ad valorem. They are based on the benefit each parcel receives from District facilities, infrastructure and services.
How will my assessments be determined?
Each property owner pays an annual assessment to the District for operations and maintenance (“O&M”) of District infrastructure and facilities. Each year, prior to September 1, the Board of Supervisors holds a public hearing to set the upcoming fiscal year budget (which runs from October 1 to September 30) and the level of O&M assessments. Included in the O&M assessment is your pro-rata share of the annual costs to administer the District.
The assessments will appear on your property tax bill that you receive in November of each year. If you have a mortgage on your property and your taxes are escrowed, your assessments may be included in your monthly mortgage payment. In such case, your tax bill will be sent directly to your mortgage company and be paid from your escrow account.
In addition to the annual maintenance assessment, whenever there are outstanding bonds that have been issued, such as the bonds that Golden Lakes CDD issued in 1994, there is also an annual fixed debt component to the maintenance assessment shown on the tax bills. The debt service component is the fixed amount required to amortize the debt for the infrastructure and facilities acquired or constructed by the District. The annual debt assessment for each property has been determined based upon use of the particular parcel. The District levied a debt assessment against each property based on benefit and pro-rata share of the cost of the public infrastructure and facilities financed by the District. Since the majority of the property owners within Golden Lakes paid off their portion of these Series 1994 bond assessment, those residents will have just a maintenance assessment. There are, however, a small number of properties that still pay a debt service component included in their overall annual non-ad valorem assessments.
See “What can I expect to pay annually for my assessments?” for information related to the note financing the District issued in 2007 to resurface the roadways within the community.
What can I expect to pay annually for my assessments?
The District issued Series 1994 Bonds in the principal amount of $12,335,000, for the benefit of public infrastructure and facilities for all properties within the District. The bonds were financed over a 20-year period but have been paid off early due to many property owners paying down their debt assessment. For the few properties that continue to pay their portion of this debt assessment, those monies will go into the general fund for any authorized use of the District.
The District also financed a Note in 2007 for $400,000 to complete the microsurfacing project in the community. Each property owner is assessed an appropriate share of this note indebtedness for principal and interest over the life of the outstanding note, and this amount remains fixed for the life of the note. Click here for the assessment chart by neighborhood for this project.
Any home owner has the option of paying down their debt assessment early, either in part or in whole, which will either reduce or eliminate the annual assessment levied on the property. For information on paying down your debt assessment, please contact the Assessment Department at 954-603-0034 (Coral Springs, Florida).
For those homeowners choosing not to paydown the debt assessment early, you will pay this assessment only for the period of time that you own your home, or until 2014, whichever is sooner. If you sell your home before that time, the next owner becomes responsible for paying their share of the cost of the debt still outstanding on that property.
The operations and maintenance assessment may vary based upon the general fund budget adopted each year after an advertised, public hearing. At the public hearing held to adopt the budget for fiscal year 2015, the Board adopted a general fund budget supported by maintenance assessments levied on each property. Click here for the Budgets page.
The debt component added to the operations and maintenance component result in the total non-ad valorem assessments included on your annual real estate tax bill.
When and where are meetings of the CDD held?
The schedule of meetings of the Board of Supervisors for the current fiscal year is available on the Board Meetings page.
Additional meetings may be scheduled as items of business dictate, and all meetings are advertised in the newspaper as required by Florida Statutes.
All meetings are open to the public, and we encourage the community to participate in your local governmental process.
How do I contact the Board or someone who can answer my questions?
You may send an email to the District Office, correspondence to our business location, or phone us.