(1) The Department of Community Affairs shall compile the official list of special districts. The official list of special districts shall include all special districts in this state and shall indicate the independent or dependent status of each district. All special districts in the list shall be sorted by county. The definitions in s. 189.403 shall be the criteria for determination of the independent or dependent status of each special district on the official list. The status of community development districts shall be independent on the official list of special districts. (2) The official list shall be produced by the department after the department has notified each special district that is currently reporting to the department, the Department of Financial Services pursuant to s. 218.32, or the Auditor General pursuant to s. 218.39. Upon notification, each special district shall submit, within 60 days, its determination of its status. The determination submitted by a special district shall be consistent with the status reported in the most recent local government audit of district activities submitted to the Auditor General pursuant to s. 218.39. (3) The Department of Financial Services shall provide the department with a list of dependent special districts reporting pursuant to s. 218.32 for inclusion on the official list of special districts.
(4) If a special district does not submit its status to the department within the required time period, then the department shall have the authority to determine the status of said district. After such determination of status is completed, the department shall render the determination to an agent of the special district.
(5) The official list of special districts shall be available on the department’s website.
(6) Preparation of the official list of special districts or the determination of status does not constitute final agency action pursuant to chapter 120. If the status of a special district on the official list is inconsistent with the status submitted by the district, the district may request the department to issue a declaratory statement setting forth the requirements necessary to resolve the inconsistency. If necessary, upon issuance of a declaratory statement by the department which is not appealed pursuant to chapter 120, the governing board of any special district receiving such a declaratory statement shall apply to the entity which originally established the district for an amendment to its charter correcting the specified defects in its original charter. This amendment shall be for the sole purpose of resolving inconsistencies between a district charter and the status of a district as it appears on the official list. Such application shall occur as follows:
(a) In the event a special district was created by a local general-purpose government or state agency and applies for an amendment to its charter to confirm its independence, said application shall be granted as a matter of right. If application by an independent district is not made within 6 months of rendition of a declaratory statement, the district shall be deemed dependent and become a political subdivision of the governing body which originally established it by operation of law.
(b) If the Legislature created a special district, the district shall request, by resolution, an amendment to its charter by the Legislature. Failure to apply to the Legislature for an amendment to its charter during the next regular legislative session following rendition of a declaratory statement or failure of the Legislature to pass a special act shall render the district dependent.