Austin, Texas
                    FISCAL NOTE, 77th Regular Session
                               May 16, 2001
          TO:  Honorable Bill G. Carter, Chair, House Committee on Urban
        FROM:  John Keel, Director, Legislative Budget Board
       IN RE:  SB1564  by Duncan (Relating to the funding of emergency
               medical services by municipalities with a population of
               5,000 or more in counties with a population of less than
               60,000.), Committee Report 2nd House, Substituted
*  No fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.                    *
Local Government Impact
The bill would authorize municipalities with a population of 5,000 or
more as of January 1, 2001 in a county with a population of 60,000 or
less as of that date, to assess a fee, not to exceed $2 per month, to be
paid by the customers of a utility provided by the municipality.  The fee
would be placed into a proprietary fund and could be used only for the
provision of emergency medical services (EMS) within the municipality or
the county in which the municipality is located.  The bill would take
effect September 1, 2001.

Two municipalities that were identified as meeting all the eligibility
criteria for assessing the proposed fee are Big Spring and Kerrville.
Contacts with other municipalities that fit the population criteria of
the bill found that those counties did not meet other criteria of the
bill, but it is unknown if still other municipalities that meet those
population requirements may be eligible to charge the fee for EMS

A representative of the City of Big Spring said that the city currently
has 9,448 active water utility accounts.  If that number were to remain
constant and if the city were to assess the maximum $2 per month fee, the
city would realize an annual revenue gain of $226,752.  The city
currently transfers from its general revenue fund to their ambulance fund
a subsidy of $250,000 per year for EMS.  The revenue generated would
offset all but approximately $24,000 of the city's EMS expenses.

A representative of the City of Kerrville indicated the city has
approximately 9,000 water utility customers, therefore a $2 monthly fee,
if assessed, would generate $216,000 annually.  The city's EMS is
currently supported solely through EMS fees.  EMS annual expenses total
$1.4 million.

Eligible municipalities that would choose to assess a monthly fee to
assist in covering the costs of providing emergency medical services
would experience a revenue gain.  The revenue gain would help recover
some of the costs of providing services.  The amount of gain and the
impact the gain would have on the costs of emergency medical services
would vary depending on how much monthly fee would be assessed up to the
$2 per month limit, the number of utility customers, and the EMS
Source Agencies:   
LBB Staff:         JK, DB