TML Surveys

The Texas Municipal League surveys its members on a regular basis about a variety of topics. As a service to our members, TML will make results of these surveys available here.

Newspaper Publication Cost Survey
Fiscal Conditions Surveys
Taxation and Debt Surveys
Water and Wastewater Surveys

 

Some of the following files are in the pdf format. You must have Acrobat Reader installed on your machine in order to open these files. To download a free copy of this software, click on the icon below.

 

Newspaper Publication Cost Survey

In response to the increasing costs of publishing legal notices, a 2012 survey revealed how much some Texas cities spend to meet the legal requirements of publishing these notices. If you have difficulty accessing this information, please call JJ Rocha in the TML office at 512-231-7400.

Excel pdf

 

Fiscal Conditions Survey Results

TML periodically conducts a survey of its member cities to determine the overall fiscal health of Texas cities. The survey results demonstrate that Texas cities have unique blends of revenue sources and spending priorities reflecting the diversity of TML's member cities.

2014
pdf

2013
pdf

2012
pdf

2011
pdf

 

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Annual TML Taxation and Debt Survey Results

The Texas Municipal League’s annual survey of municipal tax and debt for past years are posted here. If you have difficulty accessing this information, please call Rachael Pitts in the TML office at 512-231-7400.

The following information may be helpful when you review the survey results:

Limitations on Municipal Tax Rates

Municipal property tax rates are limited by the Texas Constitution (Article XI, Sections 4 and 5) and state law. Municipal tax rate ceilings are as follows:

  • Cities of 5,000 or less in population can levy a maximum tax rate of $1.50 per $100 assessed valuation;
  • Cities over 5,000 in population can levy up to $2.50 per $100 assessed valuation (for a home rule city, a rate lower than $2.50 per $100 may be prescribed under its charter);
  • Type B general law cities can levy a maximum of 25 cents per $100 assessed valuation.
Definitions of Terms Used in the Survey

General obligation bonds are bonds that are secured by a pledge of the full faith and credit and the taxing power of the issuers. The term is synonymous with the term “tax-supported.”

Revenue bonds are special obligations of the issuer (as opposed to general obligations) that are payable solely from the revenues derived from an income-producing facility. Revenue bonds are sometimes further secured by a first mortgage on the physical plant or property whose revenues are pledged. Such bonds are called “first mortgage revenue bonds.”

Certificates of obligation are a financing mechanism a city may use to pay a contractual obligation incurred in: (1) a construction contract; (2) the purchase of materials, supplies, equipment, machinery, buildings, land, and rights-of-way for authorized needs and purposes; or (3) the payment of professional services, including services provided by tax appraisers, engineers, architects, attorneys, map makers, auditors, financial advisors, and fiscal agents.

Tax notes (also called an “anticipation notes”) are a debt instrument that a city may sell to finance the construction ofpublic works, the purchase of supplies, land, and rights of way for public works, to pay for professional services, to pay operating expenses, or to payoff cash flow deficits. Tax notes used to pay for public works or professional services must mature before the seventh anniversary after the notes are approved by the attorney general. Tax notes used to pay operating expenses or to fund a city’s cumulative cash flow deficit must mature before the first anniversary after the notes are approved by the attorney general. 

Tax rate is the rate at which taxes are levied per $100 of assessed valuation. In Texas, the ad valorem tax rate for local governments is expressed in terms of dollars or cents per $100 of assessed valuation.

When viewing the survey results online, the following key to municipal utilities and facilities referenced in the survey may be helpful:

Key to Municipal Utilities and Facilities

AM—Auditorium; AP—Airport; C—Cemetery; CE—Civic/Community/Convention Center; E—Electric System; FG—Fairgrounds; GC—Golf Course; GS—Gas System; H—Hospital; HR—Boat Harbor; J—Jail; L—Library/Museum; LK—Lake; M—Market; MB—Municipal Building/City Hall; P—Parking Lot; PH—Public Housing Units; PK—Parks and Recreation; S—Sewer System; SC—Senior Center; SL—Solid Waste Disposal System; SP—Swimming Pool; T—Transit Bus System; TB—Toll Bridge; W—Water System; ZO—Zoo; ZZ—Other

Please keep in mind that all data in these surveys are self-reported, and TML cannot be responsible for errors made by the reporting entities.

2014
643 cities responded
Excel  pdf

2013
657 cities responded
Excel pdf

2012
686 cities responded
Excel pdf

2011
716 cities responded
Excel  pdf

2010
656 cities responded
Excel pdf

2009
623 cities responded
Excel pdf

TML Survey Archive

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Annual Water and Wastewater Survey Results

The results of the water and wastewater rate survey conducted by the Texas Municipal League are posted here. If you have difficulty accessing this information, please call Rachael Pitts in the TML office at 512-231-7400.

Information is presented only for cities that provide water and wastewater services to their residents. Information for cities that provide water and wastewater services through municipal utility districts, interlocal agreements, and other private sources is not included in the survey. The information contained in the survey results was provided by the cities, and TML made no attempt to verify the accuracy of information reported. Where no response to a specific question was received, a zero is used to indicate no response; zeroes are not included in the computations of averages.

2014

A total of 691 cities reported that they provide water service to their residents.  The average cost of water usage of 5,000 gallons in all cities is $32.81, an increase of 3.54 percent over the 2013 average of $31.65.  The average monthly residential consumption in all cities is 6,523 gallons.

Wastewater service is provided in 661 of the cities responding to the survey.  The average cost of wastewater service for residential usage of 5,000 gallons is $25.44, an increase of 4.01 percent over last year's average of $24.42. 

  • Water Fees by Population Group Summary Excel pdf
  • Residential and Commercial Water Costs Details Excel pdf
  • Wastewater Fees by Population Category Summary Excel pdf
  • Residential and Commercial Wastewater Costs Details Excel pdf

2013
 A total of 694 cities reported that they provide water service to their residents. The average cost of water usage of 5,000 gallons in all cities is $31.65, an increase of 4.11 percent over the 2012 average of $30.40. The average monthly residential consumption in all cities is 6,623 gallons.

Wastewater service is provided in 664 of the cities responding to the survey. The average cost of wastewater service for  residential usage of 5,000 gallons is $24.42, an increase of 2.48 percent over last year's average of  $23.83.   

  • Water Fees by Population Group Summary Excel pdf
  • Residential and Commercial Water Costs Details Excel pdf 
  • Wastewater Fees by Population Category Summary Excel pdf
  • Residential and Commercial Wastewater Costs Details Excel pdf

2012
A total of 689 cities reported that they provide water service to their residents. The average cost of water usage of 5,000 gallons in all cities is $30.39, an increase of 3.93 percent over the 2011 average of $29.24. The average monthly residential consumption in all cities is 6,707 gallons.

Wastewater service is provided in 664 of the cities responding to the survey. The average cost of wastewater service for residential usage of 5,000 gallons is $23.83, an increase of 1.71 percent over last year's average of $23.43.

  • Water Fees by Population Group Summary Excel pdf
  • Residential and Commercial Water Costs Details Excel pdf
  • Wastewater Fees by Population Category Summary Excel pdf
  • Residential and Commercial Wastewater Costs Details Excel pdf

2011
A totalof 694 cities reported that they provide water service to their residents. The average cost of water usage of 5,000 gallons in all cities is $29.24, an increase of 4.17 percent over the 2010 average of $28.07. The average monthly residential consumption in all cities is 6,756 gallons.

Wastewater service is provided in 675 of the cities responding to the survey. The average cost of wastewater service for residential usage of 5,000 gallons is $23.43, an increase of 5.73 percent over last year's average of $22.16.

  • Water Fees by Population Group Summary Excel pdf
  • Residential and Commercial Water Costs Details Excel pdf
  • Wastewater Fees by Population Category Summary Excel pdf
  • Residential and Commercial Wastewater Costs Details Excel pdf

2010
A total of 675 cities reported that they provide water service to their residents. The average cost of water usage of 5,000 gallons in all cities is $28.07, an increase of 2.26 percent over the 2009 average of $27.45. The average monthly residential consumption in all cities is 6,625 gallons.

Wastewater service is provided in 662 of the cities responding to the survey. The average cost of wastewater service for residential usage of 5,000 gallons is $22.60, an increase of 1.60 percent over last year's average of $21.81.

  • Water Fees by Population Group Summary Excel pdf
  • Residential and Commercial Water Costs Details Excel pdf
  • Wastewater Fees by Population Category Summary Excel pdf
  • Residential and Commercial Wastewater Costs Details Excel pdf

2009
A total of 659 cities reported that they provide water service to their residents. The average cost of water usage of 5,000 gallons in all cities is $27.45, an increase of 7.48 percent over the 2008 average of $25.54. The average monthly residential consumption in all cities is 7,018 gallons.

Wastewater service is provided in 638 of the cities responding to the survey. The average cost of wastewater service for residential usage of 5,000 gallons is $21.81, an increase of 6.55 percent over last year's average of $20.47.

  • Water Fees by Population Group Summary Excel pdf
  • Residential and Commercial Water Costs Details Excel pdf
  • Wastewater Fees by Population Category Summary Excel pdf
  • Residential and Commercial Wastewater Costs Details Excel pdf

2008
A total of 706 cities reported that they provide water service to their residents. The average cost of water usage of 5,000 gallons in all cities is $25.58, an increase over the 2007 average of $24.83. The average monthly residential consumption in all cities is 6,291 gallons.

Wastewater service is provided in 690 of the cities responding to the survey. The average cost of wastewater service for residential usage of 5,000 gallons is $20.48, an increase over last year's average of $19.03.

  • Water Fees by Population Group Summary Excel pdf
  • Residential and Commercial Water Costs Details Excel pdf
  • Wastewater Fees by Population Category Summary Excel pdf
  • Residential and Commercial Wastewater Costs Details Excel pdf

 TML Survey Archive

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