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Defining "Special District"

Currently, federal law lacks a consistent definition of “special district” or “special purpose unit of government.” NSDC has led the charge since April 2020 to craft a federal definition with the primary objective to enhance districts’ access to federally funded programs (and other funding opportunities).

The final definition proposal is still pending; however, there are three primary elements of how to define and consider a special district: (1) it’s status as a political subdivision of a state that (2) provides limited or specific services within specified boundary, and (3) is not a school district or other type of general purpose government.


Download a one-pager covering the need to define "special district."
Background & Talking Points: Defining Special Districts in Federal Law

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