Public Works

MSBU/MSTU's

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The Public Works Finance Department is responsible for budget preparation and financial monitoring of the 17 Public Works departments as well as the 77 MSBU/MSTU work programs. In Fiscal Year 2004, the Finance Department oversees a $150 million budget for Public Works and tracks the revenue and expenses for 104 Capital Improvements Projects.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Municipal Services Benefit Units (MSBU's) and Municipal Services Taxing Units (MSTU's)?
These are geographic areas within Charlotte County created by ordinance and defined by specific boundaries. Property owners within these units pay for services that benefit their particular area. Public Works is responsible for their road maintenance and improvements, drainage, and waterway dredging.

What is the difference between and MSBU and an MSTU?
The source of revenue used to pay for the services is the difference between an MSBU and an MSTU. The annual budget is based on the cost of the adopted work program developed by the units' Advisory Committee in cooperation with Public Works, and adopted by the Board of County Commissioners.

Revenue for services performed in an MSBU comes from non-ad valorem (non-value) assessments. The cost of the annual work program developed by the MSBU's Advisory Committee is divided by the total number of equivalent residential units (ERU's) resulting in an assessment per ERU. A single residential lot is often defined as one ERU. The work performed in the MSBU benefits that specific area or unit.

Revenue for MSTU work programs is produced by ad valorem (value) taxes. The millage rate is determined by dividing the cost of the annual work program by the taxable value of all properties within the unit.

What is the purpose of MSBU's and MSTU's?
Street and drainage units are created to maintain and improve infrastructure: roads, traffic signs, road striping, sidewalks, drainage pipes and swales, stormwater management, brush removal and bicycle paths.

Waterway units are created to maintain navigable waterways including: dredging, navigation signs and lock maintenance.

How are assessments and taxes calculated?
The calculation method can vary from one unit to another. It can be based on the length of front footage, size of lots, amount of acreage, or taxable value of the property. The method used is citied in the ordinance or resolution levying the assessment or tax.

What is the benefit of an MSBU or MSTU?
The cost for services within a specific area are equitably assessed on each property within the benefit unit. Benefits are calculated for the entire unit.

How are MSBU's and MSTU's managed?
Volunteers wishing to serve on their formal MSBU or MSTU Advisory Committee are appointed to the committee by the Board of County Commissioners when a vacancy occurs. Committee meetings are generally held each quarter but may be held more often during special projects. Members must be property owners residing within the unit who pay assessment or tax to the unit. If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a member of an Advisory Committee, contact Public Works, (941)575-3600.

Municipal Services District Representatives, employees of the Public Works Division, serve as liaison between the Advisory Committees and County departments.

Where can I get assessment and billing information for my MSBU or MSTU?
The MSBU Section of the Budget & Administrative Services Department assembles and maintains the property records for all MSBU's. They track current and historical MSBU assessment and billing information and provide MSBU assessment data to the Tax Collector annually for tax collection under the Statutory Uniform Collection Method.