Everything to know about Metropolitan Districts in Colorado


Urban districts, also called Metropolitan Districts, are quasi-governmental entities; they have an exclusive taxing authority to collect taxes. The managed tax finances the district’s required public infrastructure and services. They are mainly funded through the property taxes collected there. So, What is a Metropolitan District in CO?

Under Colorado’s Special District Act, a metro district is a special district. Title 32 of the Act defines a special district as an independent government unit. Therefore, it can be defined as a quasi-municipal corporation and political subdivision.

It can be a single-purpose district and serve as a water district, sanitary sewer district, or fire district. Or, it can be a Metropolitan District that can provide two or more services like domestic water, sanitary sewer, roadways, parks, traffic, irrigation, etc.

What are the essential functions of a Metropolitan District?

Just to know about What is a Metropolitan District in CO is incomplete without knowing its duties and responsibilities. So, what are its operations? Read further to learn them.

Funding housing projects

Bond payments are used to serve the infrastructure cost. This repayment will be made with other homeowner property taxes over time.

Funding public infrastructure

Essential public infrastructures like sewers, roads, water, and other open spaces are created.

Annual tax increase 

Property taxes are increased every year by some points. For example, in the last 30 years, a 2% increase was seen.

History of the Metropolitan District

In 1949, special districts were first authorized. The main reason behind this decision was to provide certain essential services to the rural areas or places unincorporated into the main area. In 1981, this act was then repealed and reenacted.

Colorado has more than 1800 special districts, and the count is increasing yearly with the ever-expanding urban growth. Each special district has a board, a District Manager, attorney, engineer, and landscaper to take care of the district operations daily.

Reasons behind creating a special district

  • To finance public infrastructure.
  • To tax exempt the public finances.
  • To deduct taxes on the money paid by the property owners on their federal income returns.
  • To fund the upcoming infrastructure projects in the districts by the beneficiaries and not burden all citizens.
  • To execute regular maintenance of the infrastructure created.

Process followed within the district’s administration to make developments. 

Service plan 

A comprehensive service plan is created and then submitted to the city. The city will approve, approve with conditions or deny the plan/ project. The district authority will be able to work on how the city wants it to be.


A petition will be submitted to the district court to approve the plan. Once the project is approved, the court will conduct a hearing to prepare for the election.


The election will authorize taxes and debts and elect a district board of directors. And if the election is successful, the court will permit the formation of the district.

What are the other governing laws in a special district of Colorado?

  • Local government budget law
  • Local government audit law
  • Open meetings law
  • Local government election code
  • Open records act
  • Public bidding requirements

Protective rules for home buyers in the metro districts of Colorado

  • Relevant and multiple disclosures are made compulsory for the safety of the home buyers throughout the process.
  • Ceilings in mill-levy( property tax applied to the property’s assessed value)
  • Development risks posed on bondholders in place of the homeowners.

Thus, these are the essential information about the Metropolitan Districts in Colorado. Hope this information is helpful to all in making informed decisions.