Municipal Service Benefit Unit (MSBU) Assessments
The Board of County Commissioners, pursuant to Florida statute and county ordinance, may create a Municipal Services Benefit Unit (MSBU) to serve a specific area of the county. The MSBU may be created for: road paving, sewer lines, street lighting, speed humps, and fire protection, etc. The rates, frequency, and duration of assessments are set forth in the ordinance creating the district. Notice of the proposed assessment will be on the Proposed Tax Notice (TRIM) sent out to the property owners sometime in August each year, indicating the rates, the time, and the place of the public hearing (normally late August). After hearing comments from the public, the Board of County Commissioners will approve/disapprove establishing or changing the MSBU.
The process normally begins with a homeowners group, an interested resident, or a County Commissioner requesting an MSBU be established for a particular purpose. Your letter request with estimate should be submitted to the county's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) department by the following dates: (OMB will obtain estimates for county maintained roads.)
- Road Paving: January 30
- Sewer Installation:January 30
- Canal Dredging:January 30
- Lighting District:February 15
- Speed Humps:February 15
OMB department will coordinate the county process with the requesting representatives:
- County Administrator
- County Attorney
- Public Works
Drafting the Petition
OMB will draft the petition once all costs are determined. This petition will be mailed to the individual requesting the project to collect signatures from affected Santa Rosa County resident property owners.
A minimum of 66% for non-lighting, 60% for lighting, and 75% for speed humps of affected Santa Rosa County property owners signatures are needed to establish an MSBU; however, state law allows the Board of County Commissioners to impose an MSBU at any time it is deemed necessary. The entire process, including return of signed petition to OMB, must be completed by March 25th. (The following Monday if it falls on the weekend.)
If the OMB department receives back the petitions by March 25th with a minimum of 66% for non-lighting, 60% for lighting, and 75% for speed humps approval from Santa Rosa County property owners, letters will be mailed out notifying all property owners of the pending MSBU.
Before April 1, the OMB department notifies the Property Appraiser of the proposed MSBU. If the MSBU is approved, the Property Appraiser will send the data to the Tax Collector to appear on the annual tax bills as non-ad-valorem assessments, along with millage based taxes.