County of El Paso's cover photo
Building on our legacy, illuminating innovation, and succeeding beyond borders...est 1850.
County government in Texas is, for many people, the primary and most accessible level of government. County governments are political subdivisions of the State. The State has created 254 counties. Initially, the counties were primarily created to facilitate the judicial system. As a result of State legislative changes over the years, county governments in Texas are involved not only with the judicial system, but also the delivery of health and welfare services, public safety, cultural and recreational activities, and construction and maintenance of roads and bridges. In comparison to some of the other states, Texas counties have only a very limited ordinance making authority, as specifically granted by the State legislature. Counties in Texas have many comparable characteristics and are similarly organized. Each county has a governing body called Commissioners Court. The Commissioners Court is composed of five members. One member, the county judge, is elected at large to a four-year term. The other four members are county commissioners. Each county commissioner is elected from a precinct to a four-year term. In all Texas counties, the County Judge presides over commissioners court meetings. The Commissioners Court serves as the executive branch of county government. Among a myriad of constitutional and statutorily imposed duties and responsibilities, the five members of commissioners court 3 have the exclusive responsibility and authority over a multitude of areas in the operation of county government. To name a few, the Commissioners Court is responsible for approving the county's operating budget and budgetary amendments, setting ad valorem property tax rates, auditing and directing settlement of all claims against the County. Additionally, this body appoints certain county officials and board members. The Commissioners Court also determines when propositions to issue bonds will be submitted to the voters. The County is a strategic crossroads for continental north-south and east-west traffic. The County spans a geographic area of about 1,058 square miles. The County enjoys fairly sound economic diversification. Being that El Paso is in the heart of the Southwest, many businesses are attracted to the El Paso/Juarez region. El Paso is the largest City in the United States that borders Mexico. Based on population, El Paso is the sixth largest city in Texas. Larger than Boston, Seattle, and Denver, the City of El Paso is the 19th largest city in the U.S. Combined with its sister city, Juarez, Mexico, the El Paso metro area holds more than 2.5 million people, making it the world’s largest population center on an international border. With four international ports of entry, El Paso is a primary intersection for regional trade in the Southwest. In 2014, El Paso took top ranking in several “best of” studies of U.S. Metros. El Paso was also ranked second by Forbes for Downtown Revitalization. The Texas Department of Transportation travel counselors named El Paso the best city in West Texas. New Geography magazine ranked El Paso 21st on its list of best mid-sized cities for manufacturing jobs. Lastly, for the fourth consecutive year, the City of El Paso ranked the safest city in America based on a study by CQ Press, an independent research firm. Commissioners Court is considered financially accountable for the El Paso County Hospital District (District), also known as University Medical Center, and Emergency Services Districts number 1 and 2 and accordingly each of their activities are included in this CAFR. As a component unit, the Hospital District and the Emergency Districts are included in this CAFR because the El Paso County Commissioners Court, the County's governing body, has the legal duty to exercise financial accountability over it by appointing their board members, approving their budgets and approving their tax rates. Nonetheless, these entities are completely separate and dissimilar organizations. The Hospital District is governed by the Texas Constitution, Article 9, § 4 and the Health and Safety Code, Chapter 281, a different set of constitutional and statutory laws and the Emergency Districts are governed by the Health and Safety Code, Title 9, Chapter 775. All accounting and budgeting records of the Districts are maintained by each District, audited by an independent accounting firms and reported on in much greater detail in their various interim and annual financial reports. Copies of any of the Hospital District's financial reports can be obtained directly from the District or from their website at www.umcelpaso.org. Copies of Emergency Districts 1 and 2 financial reports can also be found on their websites at http://epcesd1.com/transparency.html and http://www.epcountyesd2.org/transparent_government.asp respectively.
County of El Paso's cover photo
500 E San Antonio Ave
El Paso, TX
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