A metro district is a type of special district similar to a school, fire or water district. They are established, typically by developers, to finance the infrastructure necessary to support a new subdivision, which can include roads, sewer lines, drainage facilities, and similar services. Additionally, district projects can include affordable housing, public spaces such as parks, and environmental sustainability improvements, all which can help increase neighborhood livability and vitality.
Metro District Formation
To create a new metro district a developer must submit a letter of interest and a formal application to the city. After review by city staff, the developer's plan is presented to city council during a public hearing. City council may reject, approve, or temporarily approve the plan on a case-by-case basis.
Metro districts are sometimes confused with Homeowner Associations (HOA) which are private entities created to enforce rules and to manage the maintenance of HOA-owned common areas. Unlike metro districts, HOAs do not have the power to tax residents.
Powers and Funding
Each district has various financial powers. These can include the power to tax and/or assess fees for the services it provides and to issue tax-exempt bonds to help pay for public improvements since metro districts often cover the costs of both the initial construction and the ongoing operation and maintenance of public improvements.
These metro district taxes and fees are added to each homeowner's annual property tax bill, and the tax rate (or "mill levy") set by the metro district is applied to the assessed value of a property. Resources from that levy are used solely for the benefit of property owners and the neighborhood.
View an example of how property taxes and metro district taxes are distributed in different areas of Commerce City.
Current Metro Districts
The city's interactive map of special districts shows information about all the taxing entities in the city. Find your address or neighborhood to see information about metro districts and other special districts such as water, fire, school, transportation and library districts, in addition to the city and Adams County.