What is a CDD?


If you’re browsing Florida properties, you’re likely to encounter communities with CDD fees.

More details to follow, but I recommend that my buyers think of CDD fees like traditional HOA fees that pay for amenities and common areas. That’s basically what they translate to for most residents. Fees vary greatly from community to community, so it’s important for buyers to consider all parts of the benefits and costs of each home and community carefully.

The details

CDD stands for Community Development District. The Florida Statute Chapter 190 was developed in 1980, but it’s used much more commonly and differently in recent years. It initiated as a method of saving developers the initial infrastructure costs for roads, utilities and other local impacts of development. Many began strictly as bonds to be paid off in a period of time.  As some communities used them more broadly for amenities and such, most CDD’s are now permanent resident fees.

Beyond the cost for initial infrastructure, the CDD also includes costs for improvements within the community and the amenities and maintenance of amenities in the community. In plain English, communities that charge CDD fees typically use them similarly to HOA fees: to pay for the community amenities.

As opposed to HOAs that are paid separately, CDD fees are paid with the tax bill as non-ad valorem taxes. Listings should show the full tax bill that includes both the traditional ad-valorem taxes and the non-ad valorem taxes together. There is a section in listings that designates how much of the tax bill is for the CDD fees, but do not add them to the full tax bill as they are already included.

So, no HOA?

Nope, not quite. In local CDD communities, there is still an HOA, but the fee is usually minimal. In communities where the CDD pays for the amenities, the HOA is more of a managing body that enforces deed restrictions and basic community management. Those HOA fees are often between $100-$250/year. Of course, there are exceptions, especially in gated sections of a community, because gates are usually managed by the HOA. As with all community fees, it’s important to check them on a case-by-case basis.

Which local communities have CDDs?

Here in the Greater Tampa Area, many of the new home communities have CDD fees. Newer communities in the northern Hillsborough County suburbs (Carrollwood, Citrus Park, Northdale, Lutz) are less likely to have a CDD; they use a traditional HOA model instead. In Pasco County, nearly all of the new home communities have CDDs, but Pasco taxes are lower than Hillsborough County taxes, so that offsets some (not all) of the cost. In the Hillsborough County suburbs south of Tampa (Riverview, Wimauma, Apollo Beach, Seffner, Valrico). CDDs in these areas added to Hillsborough County taxes can add up to quite high tax bills for modestly priced homes. 

Should I avoid CDD communities?

In a word, no. There are some great CDD communities with beautiful homes, resort-style amenities, neighborhood events and more. My suggestion is to learn about the areas and neighborhoods and carefully include all the details and fees of each to determine what best suits your needs and budget.

I work with many home buyers relocating to the area. As a former teacher, I enjoy teaching you about the area and helping you with the details you need to make informed, confident decisions about your move. Contact me through my website, or by call or text directly to 813-453-5273.