By Councilmember Brett Hansen
Metropolitan Districts play an undeniable role in our Timnath community. Most residents live in a metro district. Metro district taxes and fees are, for many residents, the single largest component of your property taxes. The services and amenities provided by those taxes and fees are a major part of the look and feel of your immediate neighborhood.
Gaining an understanding of the costs, benefits, and roles of a metro district is worth your time. This knowledge will help you determine what value you get for your money and enable you to have a positive influence on the character of your neighborhood and on your tax bill. But what exactly is a metro district?
Metro Districts are quasi-governmental organizations, meaning they operate under much of the same regulations as other local governments. Their purpose is to help fund community infrastructure and improvements within district boundaries.
The cost of building a new neighborhood is significant. This isn’t only due to the cost of building homes. The price comes from the infrastructure that needs to be installed before the house is even built. These include electricity for streetlights, sewer lines, water lines, and roads.
Metro Districts typically issue debt to pay for these improvements and then pay off that debt over time using property taxes collected from those within the district.
Metro Districts are complex, and because the Town allows their operation in Timnath, I feel it is the Town’s responsibility to provide some tools to help enable and empower you to have productive interactions with your metro district.
Last fall, I spearheaded the Metro District Ad Hoc Committee, formed to both review and update the rules governing metro districts, and to share information about metro districts to better inform those living in our Town. We held several workshops detailing how metro districts work and created an FAQ document that answers some of the often-asked questions we hear.
If you’d like to learn more, I invite you to visit timnath.org/metro-districts-101. You’ll find all our recorded presentations and our FAQ document online. Keep checking back; this year, we plan to continue our outreach and education on metro districts to inform you about how these entities work and how you can be involved.