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2012 Texas Fire Chiefs Association Academy: ESDs
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2012 Texas Fire Chiefs Association Academy: ESDs

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Basic introduction to the legal authority for and creation of Emergency Services Districts in Texas.

Basic introduction to the legal authority for and creation of Emergency Services Districts in Texas.

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2012 Texas Fire Chiefs Association Academy: ESDs 2012 Texas Fire Chiefs Association Academy: ESDs Presentation Transcript

  • ESDs Texas Fire Chiefs Academy June 7, 2012 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 110 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2012
  • What is an ESD? 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 110 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2012
  • What is an ESD? • ESDs are local political subdivisions that may provide fire, rescue, EMS and other emergency services – Governed by 5 commissioners appointed by County Commissioners Court - except in Harris County and multi-county ESDs, where they are elected – Primarily funded by property taxes not to exceed $0.10 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 110 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2012
  • Why create an ESD? • ESDs Ensure adequate funding of local fire, EMS, rescue and other emergency services • ESDs spread funding for emergency services among everyone that might receive those services 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 110 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2012
  • ESD Statistics • • • • • Over 300 known ESDs in Texas Approximately 1/3 are SAFE-D members 100 ESDs with Tax Rates >$0.09/$100 Approx. 50 ESDs collecting Sales Tax Median Assessed Value Approx. $700,000,000 (as of December 2010) 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 110 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2012
  • Most Current Map of ESDs in Texas Texas Department of Rural Affairs Prepared February 2010 Website: http://www.tdra.state.tx.us/TxDR A/Libraries/sorhDocs/Emergency _Service_Districts.sflb.ashx 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 110 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2012
  • Constitution • Article 3, Section 48-e – Laws may be enacted to provide for the establishment and creation of special districts to provide emergency services and to authorize the commissioners courts of participating counties to levy a tax on the ad valorem property situated in said districts not to exceed Ten Cents (10¢) on the One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) valuation for the support thereof; provided that no tax shall be levied in support of said districts until approved by a vote of the qualified voters Cave Road, Suite 110 2705 Bee Austin, Texas 78746 residing therein. (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2012
  • Constitution • Article 3, Section 48-e (cont.) – Such a district may provide emergency medical services, emergency ambulance services, rural fire prevention and control services, or other emergency services authorized by the Legislature. Statute - Chapter 775 – ESDs 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 110 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2012
  • ESD Commissioners • Board of five commissioners. • Appointed by Commissioners Court for 2 years – at least 18 years of age; and – a resident citizen of the state that is: • a qualified voter within district; or • owner of land subject to taxation in the district. • Commissioners of Multi-County and Harris County ESDs are elected at-large for 4 years 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 110 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2012
  • Commissioner Appointment • The commissioners court shall consider relevant factors in determining the individuals to appoint as emergency services commissioners, including whether the individuals have knowledge that relates to fire prevention or emergency medical services and that is relevant to the common policies and practices of the board. • Health & Safety Code §775.034(g) or2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 110 776.033(g) Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2012
  • Elected Commissioners • In Harris County (31 ESDs), you are not eligible to be an ESD commissioner if : – you are related within the third degree to: • someone providing professional services to the district; • a commissioner of the district; or • someone who is an employee or volunteer of an organization providing emergency services to the district; 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 110 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2012
  • Elected Commissioners • In Harris County (31 ESDs), you are not eligible to be an ESD commissioner if : – you are employed by a district commissioner, or an attorney or other person providing professional services to the district; – your serve in a professional capacity for the district or an organization providing emergency services to the district; or – you fail to maintain the qualifications required by law to serve. 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 110 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2012
  • Training • Must obtain at least six hours of certified continuing education at least once in a two-year period and may carry forward not more than three hours from one period to the next. • For purposes of removal of a commissioner, “incompetency” includes failure to comply with training requirements. 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 110 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2012
  • Laws Governing ESDs 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 110 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2012
  • Financial Issues • Ad Valorem Taxes • Sales Tax • Fees • • • • Purchases/Leases/Sale Bonds Loans Bidding 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 110 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2012
  • Ad Valorem Taxes • Constitutional Cap of 10 Cents for each ESD – Harris County/Former RFPD/Former 776 ESD Specific Issues • Truth-in-Taxation Process – Notice and Hearings if exceed Effective Rate • Rollback Elections – 108% of Previous Effective O&M Rate • http://www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/proptax/tnt1 1/ 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 110 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2012
  • Sales Tax • • • • Maximum 2% Local Sales Tax Increments of 1/8% Sales Tax Election Exclusion of area at 2% cap – the “Carve Out” 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 110 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2012
  • Fees • A district, or a person authorized by contract on the district's behalf, may charge a reasonable fee for emergency services performed for or on behalf of a person or entity, including a fee for responding to a false alarm or for a fire code inspection. • Provide notice and conduct public hearing to adopt false alarm fees (penal in nature). 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 110 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2012
  • Financial Issues • Ad Valorem Taxes • Sales Tax • Fees • • • • Purchases/Leases/Sale Bonds Loans Bidding 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 110 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2012
  • Miscellaneous Issues 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 110 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2012
  • Miscellaneous Issues • • • • • • Audits Payment of District Funds Annual Reports Depositories Public Funds Investment Act Public Funds Collateral Act 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 110 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2012
  • Accountability Issues 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 110 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2012
  • Accountability Issues • • • • State Laws State Agencies County Commissioners/Voters Residents 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 110 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2012
  • State Agencies with Oversight • Texas Commission on Fire Protection – for entities with paid fire fighting staff • Texas Department of State Health Services – for entities providing EMS services • Texas Attorney General – for Open Government and Records Issues 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 110 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2012
  • Open Meetings Act • Chapter 551, Texas Government Code • Attorney General Approved Training Required – Training Sessions Friday Morning! • Open Meetings Made Easy • Open Meetings Handbook • https://www.oag.state.tx.us/open/publications_og.shtml 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 110 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2012
  • Public Information Act • Chapter 552, Texas Government Code – formerly the Open Records Act • Attorney General Training Required – Training Sessions Friday morning! • Public Information Act Made Easy • Public Information Handbook • https://www.oag.state.tx.us/open/publications_og.shtml 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 110 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2012
  • Ethical Issues • Conflict of Interest • Nepotism • Dual Office Holding/Incompatibility AG Handbook: Public Officers: Traps for the Unwary https://www.oag.state.tx.us/open/publications_og.shtml 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 110 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2012
  • Service Provider Relationships 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 110 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2012
  • Types of ESD Operations “If you have seen one ESD, you have seen one ESD” • Volunteer Departments – Volunteers have other jobs in local community • Combined Departments – Paid staff to cover shifts when volunteers are out of community at work • Employee Departments – Insufficient volunteer manpower to meet call volume demands of service area 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 110 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2012
  • Organization Structure • Contracted Service Providers – ESD serves as financing and contract manager for 3rd party service providers, which can be: • • • • Volunteer Fire Departments; Volunteer EMS Organizations; For Profit EMS Organizations; and Other Local Government Entities. • District Personnel – ESD employees its own personnel to provide services to the community 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 110 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2012
  • Service Providers • Volunteer Departments/Organizations – Usually helped create the ESD – Generally have long history of serving the Community – Many volunteers who invest time and energy in service – Have had to rely upon donations and County handouts – Historically make decisions without oversight – Sometimes conflicts between multiple service providers • Transitioning to a Contract Relationship with ESD can be difficult 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 110 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2012
  • Other Agreements • Automatic and Mutual Aid Agreements with surrounding departments and jurisdictions. • Agreement for Dispatch Services. • Purchasing Agreements with Cooperatives. (i.e. HGAC, Buy Board, State) • HIPPA Association Agreement for EMS and First Response agencies. 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 110 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2012
  • Organizations/Agencies for Assistance • SFFMA (Volunteer Departments) • Texas Forest Service • Texas Department of Rural Affairs (Now a Division of the Texas Department of Agriculture) • State Library and Archives Commission (Records) • Texas Comptroller (Sales Tax) • Texas Secretary of State (Elections) 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 110 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2012
  • Helpful Websites • TX State Assoc. of Fire & Emergency Districts – www.safe-d.org • Texas Attorney General – www.oag.state.tx.us • Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts – www.window.state.tx.us • Texas Secretary of State – www.sos.state.tx.us • Texas Department Agriculture – www.texasagriculture.gov 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 110 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2012
  • Laws that Apply to ESDs • The Texas Constitution, Art. 3, Section 48-e – http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/CN/htm/CN.3.htm#3.48-e • Health and Safety Code, Title 9, Subtitle B, Chapter 775 – http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/HS/htm/HS.775.htm • Local Government Code, Title 5, Subtitle C, Chapter 171 – http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/LG/htm/LG.171.htm • Local Government Code, Title 8, Subtitle B, Chapter 262 – http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/LG/htm/LG.262.htm • Local Government Code, Title 8, Subtitle C, Chapter 271 – http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/LG/htm/LG.271.htm • Government Code, Title 5, Subtitle A, Chapter 551 – http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/GV/htm/GV.551.htm • Government Code, Title 5, Subtitle A, Chapter 552 – http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/GV/htm/GV.552.htm • Government Code, Title 10, Subtitle F, Chapter 2256 – http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/GV/htm/GV.2256.htm 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 110 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2012
  • Questions? 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 110 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2012
  • ESDs John J. Carlton The Carlton Law Firm, PLLC 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 110 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 john@carltonlawaustin.com 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 110 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2012