The use of special districts in financing and facilitating urban growth
Mitchell, John thornton
Mitchell, O. Jack
Master of Architecture
Legal restrictions on debt limit and municipal taxing authority are almost universal in the United States. These restrictions have contributed to an inability on the part of many cities to provide basic support for the additional growth and development of urban areas. In most instances, political considerations have prevented state legislatures from lifting these financial limitations. In order to sustain urban growth and support the development of new urban areas, several states have developed alternatives to continued reliance on existing municipal governments. I submit that the most satisfactory alternative is the use of special district governments to finance all or part of the required utility and community support facilities. The particular variety of special district developed in Texas for this purpose has produced a record of successful and basically satisfactory operations unmatched in other parts of the nation. Therefore, particular attention is accorded the functioning of Texas water districts. The thesis of this paper is that increased reliance on the use of special districts, patterned after the Texas variety, offers a valuable, flexible and appropriate instrument for effectuation of plans for urban growth whether as extensions of existing growth areas or as new communities.