Manatee County Government Administrative Center Commission Chambers, First Floor 9:00 a.m. - October 10, 2017
REVISED October 10, 2017 - Regular Meeting
Agenda Item #49

Municipal Service Taxing Unit (MSTU) Process for Acquisition of Property


Contact and/or Presenter Information
Dan Schlandt, Deputy County Administrator, x3732

Action Requested
Approval for staff to follow the general MSTU establishment process outlined below for the possible acquisition of the property known as the Myara property for development as a passive county park.

Enabling/Regulating Authority
Section 125.01(1)(g) Florida Statutes

Background Discussion
Municipal Services Benefit Units (MSBU) and Municipal Services Taxing Units (MSTU)  are special districts that can be set up to serve as funding mechanisms to provide certain types of services and projects for specific geographic areas within a county.   The biggest difference between the two mechanisms is the basis for how property owners are assessed for the improvements.   The basis for an MSBU is a fixed amount per property owner based on their share of the benefit received.   For a MSTU, a millage rate is assessed on the taxable value of each property.

The County has adopted a specific process for the establishment of MSBUs but has not done so for MSTUs.  The County currently has only one special purpose MSTU, the Palm Aire MSTU, which was established about 26 years ago.   There is also a general purpose MSTU which has been established for the unincorporated area of the county.

There is a community group that has put forth a proposal for the county  to use one of these mechanisms to provide funding to acquire a property that is being considered for development in the Braden Woods/Riverclub area (the Myara property - location map attached) so that it could instead  become a passive county park area (conceptual schematic attached).   Originally it was thought that we could use the MSBU mechanism for this purpose but the County Attorney's office has advised that an MSBU should not be used for this particular type of project, however we could use an MSTU.

The purpose of this agenda item is to consider a process that could be used to establish an MSTU for this specific proposal.

It is recommended that we use the general process as provided below:

  1. County staff conduct an Information Meeting
  2.  Send a Post Card Poll to affected property owners
  3. If 50% or more of property owners are in favor - request Board of County Commissioners approval to set a Public Hearing to establish the MSTU.
  4. Conduct Public Hearing to consider establishment of the MSTU
There are time frames that need to be met that have been imposed based on an agreement for the acquisition of the property.  The proposed process in Exhibit A reflects the need to meet those time frames.

It is recommended that the MSTU would fund the acquisition costs for the project.   Assessments would pay off the acquisition costs over a long period of time (30 years).  Costs to provide limited improvements to create the passive park experience are proposed to be provided by the County. The County would also provide ongoing maintenance of the property.

Staff is supportive of the concept of establishing an MSTU and providing a passive park in this area and recommends approval of the proposed MSTU establishment process for this project.

County Attorney Review
Other (Requires explanation in field below)

Explanation of Other
Staff will submit a Request for Legal Services for development of an implementing ordinance to establish the MSTU.

Reviewing Attorney

Instructions to Board Records

Cost and Funds Source Account Number and Name

Amount and Frequency of Recurring Costs

Attachment:  Conceptual Schematic - Myara Parcels.pdf
Attachment:  Location Map - Myara.pdf