District Facts - Harris County Municipal Utility District 55

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District Facts

District Facts

Mission Statement & Goals


The Harris County Municipal Utility District 55 is dedicated to providing safe drinking water and sanitary sewer service at the lowest possible cost to the residents.  Additionally the District will assure the safety and security to the residents by contracting for emergency fire, medical services and law enforcement. The District recognizes that it has the responsibility to assure awareness of the need to conserve our vital and precious water resources by:

1.  Continuous encouragement for water conservation.

2.  Educating young people about the need and means to conserve water.

3.  Maintaining the district facilities so that there will be a minimum of water loss with a goal of over 95% water accountability.

OUR HISTORY

The Harris County Municipal Utility District #55 was created by order of the Texas Water Rights Commission on July 24, 1974.  A Municipal Utility District (MUD) is created as a mechanism to finance necessary water, sewer and storm drainage construction and maintenance within a subdivision.

When a MUD is formed, an estimate is made regarding the cost of water, sewer and storm drainage facilities needed for build-out.  Build-out is the total number of homes, businesses, schools, etc., in the MUD when development is complete.  The residents living in the district then vote to grant the board the authority to issue an amount of bonds to cover ultimate build-out.  The board will issue these bonds in phases, as needed, to finance construction projects.  Annually, board members adopt a budget and set the property tax rate at a level sufficient to meet the long-term debt obligations, operations and maintenance, and administrative costs of the district.  The total amount of bonds AUTHORIZED by voters since the creation of the district is $44.2 million.  All of the authorized bonds have been sold and we presently have a debt of approximately $15 million.  When the district sells bonds, it then receives the proceeds to pay for infrastructure construction, repairs and maintenance, and begins making debt service payments to repay the amount sold.  These debt service payments are made using the assessed tax revenue.


DISTRICT INFORMATION

The City of Houston has limited development controls and sole authority to annex MUD No. 55 into its city limits.  Because we are NOT within the city limits of Houston and we are in the ETJ (Extraterritorial Jurisdiction), we do not pay city of Houston property taxes.

In 2007 the district entered into a Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) with the City of Houston which is a limited-purpose annexation agreement.  In this agreement the City is allowed to impose a Sales and Use tax on the commercial properties in the district.  The Sales and Use Tax shall be imposed on the receipts from the sale and use of taxable retail  items at the rate of one percent of the rate specified by the Tax Code. The City will then pay the District 50% of the Sales and Use Tax revenues that are received.  By entering into this agreement the City agrees not to annex the district for a period of 30 years assuring the residents they will not become part of the City of Houston for this period of time.

The district currently encompasses 1302 acres containing approximately 4270 single family homes, 2 apartment developments totalling 1096 apartment units, two neighborhood shopping centers, eight other retail or service establishments, three churches, two Elementary Schools, and a Senior High School.

Annual MUD taxes for a home, valued by the Harris County Appraisal District, at $100,000.00 would be $520.00.  For most of us with mortgages, these taxes would be paid by the mortgage company from your escrow account.  MUD 55 is one of only six (6) water districts in the state with a AAA bond rating. which has kept bond costs lower for our residents.

The district has no employees and hires firms with high levels of expertise to assist in running the district.

District Operator

SIEnvironmental, LLC

District Engineer

Brown & Gay Engineers, Inc.

Tax Assessor/Collector/Bookkeeper

Equitax, Inc

Attorney

Fulbright & Jaworski, L.L.P.

Financial Advisor

Public Financial Group LLC

The District also contracts for the districts Fire and Emergency Medical Services.

Fire Protection

Forest Bend Volunteer Fire Department

EMS

Clear Lake Emergency Medical Corps

The MUD 55 Utility District are co-owners of the SE Regional Water Plant and the Blackhawk Regional Sewage Treatment Plant.  The water plant is operated by the City of Houston who is our managing partner.  The sewage treatment plant is operated by Gulf Coast Waste Disposal.  Our surface water comes from the Trinity River, through SE Water Plant for processing and purification.  We have two (2) water wells that can be used in the event our surface water supply is interrupted, however, they will not sustain the normal water use of the district.

Click here for a map of the District

 
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