The Carrollwood CRD wants all voters to be informed of what will be decided as part of the Proposed Neighborhood Preservation Assessment Adjustment.
The important vote takes place in the August Primary Election.
Why do we need to make a change to the tax assessment? Does the CRD need the money or are we being extravagant?
One word. Inflation. Across the prior 20 years, costs for maintaining our 4 community properties have steadily increased. There are simply not enough funds to cover the needs of the aging properties.
A standard recommendation for governmental agencies is to maintain a cash reserve of six months’ expenditures. The board has projected with an average rate of 5% inflation that reserves will be depleted if no adjustment is made.
With these projections, the CRD will become insolvent in 5 years. The State would then step in and dissolve the CRD. This would then lead to the parks likely being handed over to the County to manage and operate.
Changing the Carrollwood Recreation District Tax
Maximum Annual Assessment
Should the maximum annual amount of the Carrollwood Recreation District Tax, a non-ad valorem annual assessment imposed on each individual improved residential parcel located within the boundaries of the Carrollwood Recreation District, be changed from the current maximum of $600 per year to a revised maximum of $1,200 per year?
The Carrollwood Recreation District (CRD) is a board of elected volunteers that are all property owners who are not compensated to serve on the board. The CRD Board manages and operates the 4 community properties below and maintains two dozen common areas throughout the community.
• White Sands Beach and the Boat Ramp
• Tennis Courts
• Recreation Center
• Parks (Scotty Cooper and Original Carrollwood Park including the dog park)
• Maintain two dozen common areas throughout the community, all of which have an electric meter and water meter
• Pay all the required insurance
• Manage and pay the employees and multiple independent contractors
• Manage the lawncare contract for all the above
• Oversee an annual audit to submit to the State
• Manage and pay all monthly bills
Following the precedent set by prior CRD Boards, the current CRD Board will raise the annual tax assessment by only $200 to make the new annual assessment $800.
The Board will only raise the assessment again only if there is a budgetary or pressing need. If an additional increase is needed, the CRD will only raise in small increments with only enough to meet the need to remain financially solvent. The maximum annual assessment will be $1,200.
Specifically, the Board will vote to certify the tax rolls at the Sept. 2022 regular CRD Board meeting. The $800 adjustment will be approved, and the adjustment will be seen on November 2022 property tax bill received by residents.
In 2002, the community voted to raise the tax cap from $300 to $600. This was slowly raised over a period of 8 years.
This current CRD Board intends to do the same with an increase to only $800 now. The Board has projected with an average rate of inflation, this will be enough to preserve the amenities in our community and to satisfy the requirement by the State to remain financially solvent.
Assessment adjustments require a community vote to approve a “cap” or “ceiling” on the amount of the adjustment. The process to place an item on the ballot during a public election and communicate to all stakeholders requires the use of budget resources, which is very expensive. To expend the resources only one time, the ballot measure will outline a vote to raise a maximum limit of $1,200 annually.
This is a 20-year business plan, by doing this in 2022, the CRD’s goal is to not go through this process again for another two decades.
What is at stake if the Neighborhood Preservation Assessment Adjustment does not pass? What will happen in the future?
Given current budget projections, the CRD Board estimates it will need to spend funds typically held in reserve to maintain current services beginning in FY 2022.
At that point, the CRD would either need to reduce the services provided to residents in future fiscal years or work to amend its special act to allow the transfer of some or all of the park facilities’ maintenance obligations to Hillsborough County.
There is also the potential that the State could dissolve the CRD tax district, which would likely result in access to the Original Carrollwood parks and White Sands Beach being transferred to the County for management and operation.
Check Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections page and Florida Division of Elections pages for early voting locations and details.
The line item for vote will be on ballots in the Primary Election.
The deadline to register to vote in the Primary is July 25.
Early voting in person runs Aug. 8 – 21.
Vote-by-Mail Ballots can be requested until Aug. 13. They must be returned and received no later than Aug. 23 at 7 p.m.
Election Day is Aug 23. The Carrollwood Rec Center is our polling place. A simple majority of 51% of Original Carrollwood residents will need to vote YES on the proposed Neighborhood Preservation Assessment Adjustment to mean that the referendum passes.
What are specific maintenance problems that need to be immediately addressed? Are there grand improvements that the CRD intends to make?
The current approved budget focuses most funds on a backlog of community maintenance needs.
A very small amount pays for improvements.
The areas that need immediate specific maintenance issues addressed are:
• Tree trimming
• Border wall repairs
• Sidewalk repairs at White Sands Beach
Within 3 years, these areas will have immediate needs:
• Rec Center roof replacement
• OCP (Original Carrollwood Park) perimeter fence
• OCP bathroom repair
Annual fees for other large area neighborhoods for a single-family home:
• Carrollwood Village $742 (annual adjustment) – no properties to operate and manage
• Northdale $180
• Plantation at Carrollwood $816
• Calusa Trace $600
• Cory Lake Isle $2,468 – most comparable to our community with properties to operate and manage
• Van Dyke Farms $750
The CRD budgets the monies 16 months in advance. The State of Florida requires that we adopt a budget by July 1, for the next budget cycle (October 1, 2022 through September 30, 2023).
Sometimes, unexpected and unplanned expenses happen. For example, in July 2021 a tree fell over on the tennis courts in a storm. This resulted in a closure of the tennis courts while a $10,000 repair restored everything. This major repair was not in the budget.
Often, the CRD learns of maintenance needed repairs through resident input. Safety is a big factor in prioritizing.
At the May 2022 meeting, the CRD Board voted to repair the bridge leading to the tennis court because it was a safety issue. Park playground equipment is another safety issue.
GENERAL QUESTION: Since Florida is a closed primary state, can I still vote on the Neighborhood Preservation Assessment Adjustment in the Aug. 23 Primary Election even if I’m not registered with a political party?
Yes. All registered voters, regardless of party affiliation, may vote on issues and nonpartisan races during a Primary Election.