What is a CDD?

A community development district ("CDD") or ("District") is a special-purpose unit of local governmental created to serve the long-term specific needs of its community. Created pursuant to Chapter 190, Florida Statutes. The Ordinance establishing the Celebration Community Development 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 stormwater management, water supply, sewer and wastewater management, drainage systems, bridges or culverts, roadways, street lights, landscaping, sidewalks and boardwalks, and other basic infrastructure projects within or without the boundaries of the District as provided in the establishment Ordinance.

How Special Districts Operate

A District is governed by its Board of Supervisors which is elected initially by the landowners, then begins transitioning to a general election format. For Celebration CDD, this occurred in 2004 after two thresholds were met: ten years in existence, and 500 registered voters. Like all municipal, county, state, and national elections, the Supervisor of Elections oversees the general election. District Supervisors are subject to state ethics and financial disclosure laws. Please contact the Osceola County Supervisor of Elections for more information on qualifying to run as a Supervisor in the next election.

The District conducts its business pursuant to the Sunshine Law, which means all meetings, workshops, and hearings are open to the public unless the Board meets in a closed executive session. Public hearings are held on the annual budgets and rulemaking, and the District's financial records are subject to an annual independent audit.

The District's public records are also available to the public pursuant to the Public Records Law.

Relationship with Celebration Residential Owners Association ("CROA")

The basic difference between the District and CROA is that the District is a public/governmental entity, responsible for the public common areas within the District. CROA is a private entity, responsible for residential properties and all private amenities and areas of the community.

Celebration Community Development District:

  • The District is empowered under Florida Statutes as a special-purpose local government.
  • District non-ad valorem assessments appear as a line item on your annual Osceola County real estate property tax bill.
  • The District is administered by the Board of Supervisors elected in a general election.
  • The Board generally meets the third Tuesday of each month at 6:00 p.m.
  • The District is responsible for maintenance of the following:
    • Downtown lake and esplanade, including the shade structures and interactive fountain
    • Common area landscaping, including all street trees, in the District's right-of-way (trees are trimmed for safety purposes only)
    • Sidewalks, boardwalks, and trails
    • Alleys and sidewalks
    • Street lighting
    • Hardscape (e.g., fences, signs)
    • Stormwater ponds and drainage structures
    • Mosquito control and aquatic weed control
  • The District also supplements security services by hiring off-duty deputies.

Celebration Residential Owners Association:

  • All Celebration residential owners are members of CROA.
  • The primary role of CROA is to ensure compliance with the rules, restrictions, and community-wide standards as outlined in the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions.
  • Annual dues fund the required administrative and maintenance operations as outlined in the annual CROA budget.
  • CROA is administered by a Board of Directors (elected by a majority of home owners) which meets regularly to conduct general CROA business.
  • CROA holds an annual owners meeting which includes an annual dues and budget review, and residential owners' open disussions of greneral topics pertaining to the residential owners association.
  • CROA is responsible for the maintenance of all its active and passive private parks, such as Lakeside Park, Founder's Park, Heritage Park, North Village Park, East Village Park, and the Artisan Park and Club.

Other Entities in Celebration:

As depicted on the ownership map (click here for a pdf), Celebration includes other areas and entities, including but not limited to the following:

  • Enterprise Community Development District (www.enterprisecdd.org)
  • Celebration Golf
  • Osceola County Schools (K-8, high school, Island Village elementary school)
  • Downtown areas and merchants, businesses, and restaurants
  • Undeveloped land owned by The Celebration Company
  • Conservation areas and jurisdictional wetlands, under the jurisdiction of Reedy Creek Improvement District and South Florida Water Management District
  • Celebration Non-Residential Owners Association ("CNOA")
  • Celebration Joint Committee ("CJC")
  • Celebration Foundation

The Cost of a CDD

The cost to operate a District is borne by those who benefit from its services. Property owners in the District are subject to a non-ad valorem assessment, which may appear on their annual real estate tax bill from the county tax collector and consists of two parts: debt service, and maintenance. The total of both results in the total non-ad valorem assessment included on the annual real estate tax bill. Please note that several earlier bond issues for the District have been paid off, so some residents will only be levied for annual maintenance assessments.

The debt service component is fixed for the term of the bonds (unless lowered through a refinancing), which is required to amortize the debt for the infrastructure and facilities acquired or constructed by the District. The annual debt assessment collected for each property has been determined based upon use and benefit of each parcel. The District has levied a debt assessment against your property that is based on benefit and your pro-rata share of the cost of the public infrastructure and facilities financed by the District. These debt service assessments are fixed over the life of the bonds, and any property owner has the option of paying down this debt assessment early, either in part or in whole, which will either reduce or eliminate the annual debt service levied on the property. For those owners choosing not to paydown their debt assessment early, you will pay this assessment only for the period of time that you own your home or until the final bond payment date, whichever is sooner. If you sell your home before the bonds are paid off, the next owner becomes responsible for paying that property's share of the cost of the infrastructure and facilities. Contact the District Office with questions or for further information on paying down your debt.

The maintenance component is an annual assessment for the operations and maintenance ("O&M") of District infrastructure and facilities. These maintenance costs are included in the fiscal year budget and may vary from year to year, depending on actual costs and contracts with vendors. Each year, the Board of Supervisors advertises and holds a public hearing to adopt the annual budget and set the level of O&M assessments. Included in the annual O&M assessment is your pro-rata share of the annual costs to administer the District. 

While these assessments are not taxes, per se, they will appear on the property tax bills property owners receive in November of each year from the Osceola County tax collector, and they will be collected in the same manner as property taxes. An owner's failure to pay the District's assessments when due will result in consequences similar to those resulting from an owner's failure to pay property taxes. If you have a mortgage on your property and your taxes are escrowed, your assessments may be included in your monthly mortgage. In such case, your tax bill will be sent directly to your mortgage company and be paid from your escrow account.

A spreadsheet showing all villages and product types and the resulting assessments, both debt and O&M, is found at the end of each fiscal year's adopted budget. For more information regarding the various series of bonds the District has issued, click here to read about the different bond issuances, which villages they funded, and bond terms.

Benefits to Residents

Residents within a community with a District may expect to receive three major classes of benefits. First, the District provides residents and property owners consistently high levels of public facilities and services managed and financed through non-ad valorem assessments. Second, the District ensures these community development facilities and services will be completed concurrently with other parts of the development. Third, residents and registered voters elect the Board of Supervisors, which governs the District and determines the type, quality, and expense of District facilities and services.

Other savings are realized because a District is subject to the same laws and regulations that apply to other governmental entities. The District is able to issue bonds to finance its facilities at lower, tax-exempt interest rates, the same as cities and counties. Many contracts for goods and services, such as negotiated maintenance contracts, are subject to publicly advertised competitive bidding. Direct purchases are also exempt from sales tax.

Residents and property owners in the District, through the governming Board, set the standards of quality, which are then managed by the District. This consistent and quality-controlled method of management helps protect the long-term property values in a community. Residents enjoy high-quality infrastructure facilities and services with the comfort and assurance of knowing that the standards of the community will be maintained into perpetuity. 

This site provides information using PDF, visit this link to download the Adobe Acrobat Reader DC software.