(1) The purpose of this section is to provide an orderly transition of special district service responsibilities in an annexed area from an independent special district which levies ad valorem taxes to a municipality following the municipality’s annexation of property located within the jurisdictional boundaries of an independent special district, if the municipality elects to assume such responsibilities.
(2) The municipality may make such an election by adopting a resolution evidencing the election and forwarding the resolution to the office of the special district and the property appraiser and tax collector of the county in which the annexed property is located. In addition, the municipality may incorporate its election into the annexation ordinance.
(3) Upon a municipality’s election to assume the district’s responsibilities, the municipality and the district may enter into an interlocal agreement addressing the orderly transfer of service responsibilities, real assets, equipment, and personnel to the municipality. The agreement shall address allocation of responsibility for special district services, avoidance of double taxation of property owners for such services in the area of overlapping jurisdiction, prevention of loss of any district revenues which may be detrimental to the continued operations of the independent district, avoidance of impairment of existing district contracts, disposition of property and equipment of the independent district and any assumption of indebtedness for it, the status and employee rights of any adversely affected employees of the independent district, and any other matter reasonably related to the transfer of responsibilities.
(4)(a) If the municipality and the district are unable to enter into an interlocal agreement pursuant to subsection (3), the municipality shall so advise the district and the property appraiser and tax collector of the county in which the annexed property is located and, effective October 1 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the municipality declares its intent to assume service responsibilities in the annexed area, the district shall remain the service provider in the annexed area for a period of 4 years. During the 4-year period, the municipality shall pay the district an amount equal to the ad valorem taxes or assessments that would have been collected had the property remained in the district.
(b) By the end of the 4-year period, or any extension mutually agreed upon by the district and the municipality, the municipality and the district shall enter into an agreement that identifies the existing district property located in the municipality or primarily serving the municipality that will be assumed by the municipality, the fair market value of such property, and the manner of transfer of such property and any associated indebtedness. If the municipality and district are unable to agree to an equitable distribution of the district’s property and indebtedness, the matter shall proceed to circuit court. In equitably distributing the district’s property and associated indebtedness, the taxes and other revenues paid the district by or on behalf of the residents of the annexed area shall be taken into consideration.
(c) During the 4-year period, or during any mutually agreed upon extension, district service and capital expenditures within the annexed area shall continue to be rationally related to the annexed area’s service needs. Service and capital expenditures within the annexed area shall also continue to be rationally related to the percentage of district revenue received on behalf of the residents of the annexed area when compared to the district’s total revenue. A capital expenditure greater than $25,000 shall not be made by the district for use primarily within the annexed area without the express consent of the municipality.
(5) If the municipality elects not to assume the district’s responsibilities, the district shall remain the service provider in the annexed area, the geographical boundaries of the district shall continue to include the annexed area, and the district may continue to levy ad valorem taxes and assessments on the real property located within the annexed area. If the municipality elects to assume the district’s responsibilities in accordance with subsection (3), the district’s boundaries shall contract to exclude the annexed area at the time and in the manner provided in the agreement.
(6) If the municipality elects to assume the district’s responsibilities and the municipality and the district are unable to enter into an interlocal agreement, and the district continues to remain the service provider in the annexed area in accordance with subsection (4), the geographical boundaries of the district shall contract to exclude the annexed area on the effective date of the beginning of the 4-year period provided for in subsection (4). Nothing in this section precludes the contraction of the boundary of any independent special district by special act of the Legislature. The district shall not levy ad valorem taxes or assessments on the annexed property in the calendar year in which its boundaries contract and subsequent years, but it may continue to collect and use all ad valorem taxes and assessments levied in prior years. Nothing in this section prohibits the district from assessing user charges and impact fees within the annexed area while it remains the service provider.
(7) In addition to any other authority provided by law, a municipality is authorized to levy assessments on property located in an annexed area to offset all or a portion of the costs incurred by the municipality in assuming district responsibilities pursuant to this section. Such assessments may be collected pursuant to and in accordance with applicable law.
(8) This section does not apply to districts created pursuant to chapter 190 or chapter 373.