Incorporation and Annexation Report Policy Recommendations Miami-Dade County

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Incorporation and Annexation Report Policy Recommendations

  • Miami-Dade County

  • 2001-02

Incorporation History

  • After 1991, seven additional areas were considered for incorporation: Aventura, Pinecrest, Sunny Isles Beach, Destiny, East and West Kendall, and Westchester

  • Of these, Aventura, Pinecrest and Sunny Isles Beach became municipalities

Incorporation History

  • A public opinion survey in 1995 indicated that most residents were familiar with the incorporation issue and that most were unsure or would rather wait for more information before voting on the issue

  • In a 1996 straw ballot, more voters were in favor of creating community councils than incorporation

Incorporation History

  • After the straw ballot, and under new Code provisions, Palmetto Bay, Doral, and Miami Lakes applied for incorporation

  • After a public hearing in 1996, the BCC did not allow these areas to go forward and imposed a one year moratorium on annexations and incorporations

Incorporation History

  • Several committees and task forces studied the incorporation and annexation issues from numerous perspectives

Revenue Sharing Task Force

  • The Task Force identified two alternatives as countywide revenue sources; each called for a one-half cent sales tax but differed from each other in that:

    • All cities were eligible to receive funding
    • Only cities that had below average per capita taxable values were eligible for funding

Manager’s Incorporation Report, April 1999

  • Policy calling for total incorporation by 2007 repealed

  • Proposed new cities to remain within fire-rescue, libraries, and solid waste collection systems, and to receive and pay specialized law enforcement services from the County

  • Fiscal neutrality of areas through boundaries or mitigation strongly recommended

Manager’s Incorporation Report, April 1999

  • Consider the “town” alternative

  • Put on ballot the appropriate amendment to implement and enhance the enforceability of these conditions

Subsequent Actions

  • Miami Lakes Municipal Advisory Committee (MAC)

  • Palmetto Bay MAC

  • October 3, 2000, Charter Amendment

Subsequent Actions

  • Incorporation of Miami Lakes

  • Incorporation of Palmetto Bay

  • Creation of MACs in Redland, Doral, Country Club Lakes, West Dade, North Central and West Kendall

Incorporation and Annexation

  • Fundamental Policy Recommendations


  • When viable, annexation is the preferred option to control number of municipalities and ensure fiscal strength of existing cities and areas pursuing local governance



  • Consider increasing the UMSA millage to enhance services and to make UMSA tax rate somewhat more comparable with municipal rates

  • In certain circumstances share utility tax and franchise fee revenue from annexed area with annexing city

Annexation - Enclave Areas

  • A Charter amendment presented to the voters to grant the Board of County Commissioners the authority to force the annexation of enclave areas completely surrounded by one or more municipalities and meeting pre-defined thresholds for population and geographic size

Regional-type Municipal Services

  • New municipalities must continue to receive these services from the County:

    • Fire-Rescue
    • Library
    • Solid Waste Management
    • Specialized Police

Local Police Services

  • New municipalities should enter into a contract with the Miami-Dade Police Department for an initial period (3-5 years) after incorporation for patrol and purely local police services

Revenue Neutrality Policy

  • Proposed municipalities should generally be revenue neutral, through boundaries and mitigation payments

  • Revenue neutral means that the projected revenue loss to UMSA is not greater than the projected reduction in service cost

Revenue Neutrality Policy

  • A minimum municipal population of 10,000-15,000 is recommended to prevent the creation of an inordinate number of new cities in Miami-Dade County

  • If recommended policies are adopted, a large number of new cities can be created without adversely impacting UMSA of County “regional-type” municipal services

Mitigation Policy

  • With respect to the County’s business resource areas:

    • Provide for the retention of commercial and industrial areas in UMSA, or
    • Retain 100 percent of the difference in revenues generated and agreed upon expenses in commercial and industrial areas

Mitigation Policy

  • With regard to all other areas, mitigation payments should be calculated based on the difference between current revenues generated and expenses incurred in the area less a reasonable allocation for setting up a local government and minor improvements in service

Limited Purpose Governments - “Towns”

  • Create limited purpose governments (“towns”) for areas desiring more local autonomy

  • Towns will, most likely, be appropriate under one of two scenarios:

    • Area is too small to be a separate municipality
    • Area does not have the tax base to support full-fledged government


  • “Towns” obtain funds to purchase enhancements to local police, code enforcement, parks, landscape maintenance, etc.

  • County establishes minimum standards for all municipal services as an UMSA-wide baseline

Regulatory Control Over Areas of Countywide Significance

  • The County should retain regulatory control over areas of countywide significance

Incorporation and Annexation

  • Policies Supporting the Incorporation and Annexation Processes

Countywide Revenue Sharing

  • While controversial, countywide revenue sharing is an important enough concept to deserve serious consideration

Countywide Revenue Sharing

  • A limited assistance program will need to be implemented to assist municipalities with low tax bases fund their specialized police service costs

UMSA-wide Incorporation Plan

Total Incorporation of Miami-Dade County

  • If a pre-determined trigger point for the reduced size of UMSA is reached, the BCC should adopt an aggressive policy toward annexation and incorporation of the remainder of UMSA

Boundary Disputes

  • To resolve boundary disputes, a set of guiding principles should be adopted, which can be used to arbiter disputes on a case-by-case basis

Areas Outside the Urban Development Boundary

  • Annexations and incorporations that include areas outside the urban development boundary should continue to be considered on a case-by-case basis

Areas Outside the Urban Development Boundary

  • The County should retain approval authority over all land use decisions in such areas

Areas Outside the Urban Development Boundary

  • No incorporation/annexation of areas with environmentally sensitive areas, such as well fields, should be allowed

Enclaves, Efficiency in Service Delivery

  • Existing enclaves should be eliminated through modification of boundaries or, alternatively, through contracting for services with municipalities

Financial Issues

Franchise Fee Distribution

  • Franchise fees transferred to municipalities should reflect net of all contractual discounts exercised by FPL

Payment of QNIP Debt

  • New municipalities need to be responsible for paying their share of QNIP debt service based on the cost of the improvements made within their proposed municipal boundaries

Financial Impact to UMSA

  • The creation of Country Club Lakes, Redland, and the annexation to Medley, do not have an adverse financial impact on UMSA

Municipal Advisory Committees (MACs)

  • It is recommended that there be no more than two active MACs at any given time

  • MACs should be appointed for two years

Peripheral Issues

Specialized Police Service

  • 86% of County residents pay directly for specialized police services

  • 14% of County residents only pay for specialized services through countywide taxes

Specialized Police Service

  • Newly created cities like Key Biscayne, Pinecrest, Aventura, and Sunny Isles Beach are not directly paying for specialized police costs. Without a change in policy, as new incorporations occur, more of the burden will switch to the countywide budget

Specialized Police Service

  • The total cost of specialized police services in the County is estimated at approximately $155 million; the countywide budget does not have sufficient capacity to absorb these expenditures

Specialized Police Service

  • Existing municipalities should either provide their own specialized police services or contract with another municipality or the County

  • All municipalities receiving specialized police services from the County should contract and pay for such services

Specialized Police Service

  • Given that this policy, unlike the mitigation policy, is under the County’s control, it would be unfair to charge only new cities for specialized services

  • County will have to establish a program to assist municipalities with a lower per capita tax base to cover the costs of specialized police services

Specialized Police Service

  • Recognizing that municipalities will need time to plan for contracting and paying for specialized police services, this policy should be effective no earlier than FY 2002-03

Competitive Government

  • Opportunities for the County to provide other municipal services on contractual basis to new and existing municipalities should be pursued aggressively

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