In Florida’s Special Districts, Small Government Delivers Big Benefits for Citizens

March 22, 2021

By Chris Lyon

Across the state of Florida, citizens rely on a lesser-known form of local government called a “special district” to provide services essential to their health and quality of life—everything from firefighting and hospital care to water management and mosquito control. In fact, every parcel of land in Florida is covered by at least one of the state’s more than 1,700 special districts.

In this year’s session of the state legislature, House Speaker Chris Sprowls and other lawmakers have promised a close look at special districts to assess how well they are carrying out their responsibilities. Based on my experience over the last 17 years working closely with special districts in Florida, I believe this legislative scrutiny will reveal an important success story: that these generally small entities already meet or exceed the standards of efficiency, accountability and transparency expected of good government.

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