An Emergency Service District is a governmental special district under Texas state law similar to a school district, created to provide fire and emergency medical protection to its residents. ESDs are a way to levy and collect a property taxes to pay for fire and EMS services within the district. The nearest existing ESD to Pearland is ESD #3 which levies the maximum 10 cent property tax.
After an ESD is approved by voters in one or both of the new districts, the Brazoria County Commissioners will appoint directors to operate the ESD as a new governmental body. The ESD will then contract for services, which could be from the City of Pearland or other agencies.
The City has historically provided Fire and Emergency Medical Services to the ETJ, but as populations increase both within the City limits and in the ETJ incremental revenue is imperative to sustain support. Currently, there are four Municipal Utility Districts (MUD) that pay for fire services or have a strategic partnership agreement for future incorporation to the City of Pearland, which includes MUDs 6, 16, 21 and 22.
City of Pearland Firefighters and Paramedics respond to over 10,000 calls every year. The current annual net cost to operate the Pearland Fire Department is $16 million/year, paid for predominantly by City of Pearland residents and business property taxes and sales tax revenues.
ESD’s are created under Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 775.