Orange County Lake Management

The water quality of the lakes, which to most people is a matter of how clear the water is, directly relates to the quality of water coming into the lakes from their surrounding watersheds. Increasing development pressure and poor management practices around lakes has raised concerns about water quality and impacts on our lakes.

MSTU/MSBU for Lake Management Services in Orange County

Orange County does not have general tax funds allocated for aquatic plant or lake management. Self-imposed taxing districts (MSTU/MSBU) can be formed as a funding mechanism for lake management services, such as invasive aquatic plant management. Property owners within these units pay for services that benefit their particular area. Residents can work with Orange County to form an MSTU or MSBU for funding lake management activities. An MSTU is a Municipal Service Taxing Unit based on ad valorem (value) taxes using a millage rate; property owners pay different rates based on their property value. An MSBU is a Municipal Service Benefit Unit based on non-ad valorem (non-value) assessments using a flat rate; property owners pay the same rate or fee. The funds are collected on each property owner’s property tax bill annually. These funds are placed into an account that is overseen by Orange County and can be used only for the management of the lake, as described in the applicable resolution.

How to Form an MSTU or MSBU in Orange County

  1. Contact the Orange County Environmental Protection Division (EPD) Lake Management Section at (407) 836-1400 to discuss your concerns about your lake and to get assistance with creating an MSTU/MSBU petition form. Note: This petition is only to show an interest in forming an MSTU/MSBU; it does not create the MSTU/MSBU.
  2. The interested resident(s) submits the completed petition to EPD. The list of petitioners must represent at least 15% of the affected parcels/plats.
  3. If at least 15% of the property owners show an interest in learning more about the creation of an MSTU/MSBU, the following steps will occur:
    1. The County will estimate the cost of the proposed MSTU/MSBU and may conduct a community meeting with the affected property owners.
    2. In order to get owner input, the Comptroller’s Office sends a ballot to all affected property owners with a letter of explanation giving them at least 14 days to respond. Two-thirds (6623%) of the returned ballots must approve establishing the MSBU, before the process can continue. If the ballot method is unsuccessful the owners may initiate, on their own, a follow-up signature petition whereby the Comptroller’s Office provides a list of all affected property owners.
  4. Once the requisite percentage of property owners has approved establishing the MSTU/MSBU, a public hearing is scheduled before the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) on the MSTU/MSBU Resolution and notice is mailed to all affected property owners. The MSTU/MSBU shall not be effective until the Resolution has been approved at a public hearing held before the BCC.
  5. All MSTU/MSBUs are effective as of the first eligible November 1st real estate tax billing cycle. Timing of submittal of the petition and balloting will determine in which year a newly-created MSTU/MSBU will be placed on the tax bill.

ALTERNATE OPTION: A Non-MSTU/MSBU way for residents to obtain aquatic plant management services is to contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) for applicable permits, hire a private contractor, and collect funds from residents without the assistance of the County. FWC permits must be obtained prior to any aquatic plant management on the lake, such as herbicide application (chemical treatment) or triploid grass carp stocking (biological control).

Lake Management Projects

Click on a marker to view project information.

Map Legend

  • Project


Lake Management MSTU/MSBU can be formed with or without an advisory board to make recommendations to the Orange County Board of County Commissioners (BCC). Advisory boards to which the BCC makes appointments are an integral part of the governmental process in Orange County and Central Florida. The volunteers who participate provide the BCC, through EPD staff, with recommendations and valuable insight on their particular lake.

For more information about Orange County's advisory boards please contact:

Agenda Development Office
P.O. Box 1393, Orlando, Fl. 32802-1393
(407) 836-5426

Applications are available online, or can be requested by contacting the Agenda Development Office.