Emergency services districts create jobs, save taxpayer money and generate hundreds of millions in gross product

Published 12:53 am Wednesday, September 23, 2020

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The Perryman Group’s findings reinforce benefits of emergency services districts

 To The Leader

AUSTIN, Texas – A new report by The Perryman Group finds that emergency services districts (ESDs) generate estimated savings of up to $528.2 million in annual gross product and create up to 5,188 jobs when compared to municipalities across Texas offering similar services. ESDs are political subdivisions similar to school districts across Texas and much like school districts, they serve the public with essential needs. ESDs provide fire and EMS services to more than eight million Texans and are created by grassroots campaigns and approved by voters.

“The Perryman Group report has reinforced what we already knew – that emergency services districts are offering cutting edge fire and EMS services to the communities they serve – and doing so by spending less than municipalities offering similar services,” Cliffe Avery, executive director of the Texas State Association of Fire and Emergency Districts (SAFE-D), said. “Our state is facing an economic crunch due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the need to protect lives and property remains the same. ESDs save taxpayer money, create jobs and contribute greatly to economic impact while the men and women who work for an ESD exhibit heroic bravery in the face of danger.”

The Perryman Group, led by President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. M. Ray Perryman, has extensive experience in addressing complex economic information. The Perryman Group’s in-house professionals bring expertise in finance, statistics, economics, real estate, valuation and systems analysis, among others.

Their analysis of ESDs estimated the economic benefits of the cost savings associated with ESDs compared to other options, such as outsourcing the same services to a municipality.

“Our finding, that ESDs are an effective and cost-efficient way for fire and EMS services to be delivered to the communities that reside in an ESD, was compelling,” Dr. Perryman said. “In addition to statewide economic benefits, ESDs have a significant impact on potential insurance savings when assuming a 3% rate reduction, which is in line with available evidence, generating an additional $26.6 million and creating 261 jobs in relevant industries.”

ESDs are constitutionally limited in their taxing authority to 10 cents per $100 of valuation. In comparison, municipalities often spend three times that amount. For the report, the Perryman Group assumed 14 cents per $100 taxed by municipalities for their low-end scenario and 18 cents taxed by municipalities for their high-end scenario.