General Information About the District

The Buffalo Highlands Metropolitan District (District), a quasi-municipal corporation and political subdivision of the State of Colorado, was organized by order and decree of the District Court for Adams County on December 16, 2002, and is governed pursuant to provisions of the Colorado Special District Act (Title 32, Article 1, Colorado Revised Statutes). The District operates under an amended service plan approved by Commerce City (the City) in May 2015. The District’s service area boundaries solely encompass the Buffalo Highlands Filing No. 1 subdivision, which is comprised of 165 single family homes.

In July 2018, the District issued $20.6 million in bonds to finance the construction and development of the Buffalo Highlands neighborhood infrastructure (e.g. streets, curbs, sidewalks, water and electric lines, sewer lines, storm drainage, detention pond, perimeter fencing, and open space landscaping, etc) and a portion of 96th Avenue adjacent to the District. The completed infrastructure assets were turned over to Commerce City (e.g. streets) and the respective utility companies (e.g. water and sewer lines turned over to South Adams County Water & Sanitation District, street lights and power lines were turned over to United Power, etc). Ownership of the open spaces, detention pond and perimeter fencing within Buffalo Highlands Filing No. 1 was retained by the District.

DISTRICT boundaries

In July 2019, the 5-member District Board (which was comprised solely of individuals who were employees or owners of the land development company or Lennar) voted to approve requests submitted by the land developer, Lennar and Meritage Homes to exclude from the District's service area all land outside of Buffalo Highlands Filing No. 1 subdivision that was owned by Lennar, Meritage Homes and the land developer. As a result of the Board approving these land exclusion requests, the District’s service area boundaries solely encompass the Buffalo Highlands Filing No. 1 subdivision, which is comprised of 165 single family homes.

Despite the District board's approval of a significant portion of land from the District's service area, all land located within the original boundaries of the District (prior to July 2019) remains subject to paying property taxes to the the District each year related to paying off the bonds issued by the District in July 2018.


District Revenue Sources

In order to fund the repayment of its bond debt and provide neighborhood services to the residents in Buffalo Highlands Filing No. 1, the District generates revenue from the following sources:

Property Taxes: Each year, the District assesses property taxes on the homeowners living within the Buffalo Highlands neighborhood. Property tax assessments is the District's primary source of revenue and currently comprises approximately 88% of the District's total annual revenue. In November 2015, voters approved the District's ballot issue, which authorized the District to change the mill levy rate each year without obtaining further approval from the voters. However, the District is restricted from generating annual property tax revenue in excess of $5,000,000 to fund operations.

State Tax Subsidies: Each year, the District receives a "specific ownership tax" subsidy from the State of Colorado. The State funds this subsidy from its collection of annual vehicle registration fee taxes paid by owners of Colorado-registered vehicles. The subsidy is paid out in the form of a matching contribution to the District and is calculated as a percentage of the total property taxes assessed by the District. The State establishes the rate each year for matching contributions. A historic trend of the matching rates set by the State is presented in Exhibit 1.

For the past few years, this subsidy has comprised approximately 8% of the District's total annual revenue.

Interest Income: State laws restrict the types of funds in which the District may invest its cash.  For the past several years, the District's investment income has been an insignificant source of revenue to the District due to the decline in interest rates paid by banks on savings accounts and certain low-risk money market funds.

District Contractors

Click here to lean more about the District's contractors.

Bond Debt

Click here to learn more about the District's bond debt.