The Texas Association of Counties (TAC) Board of Directors, made up of leaders representing every county office, determines the services to be provided by the Association based on the needs of Texas counties and the resources available. These services are carefully crafted and delivered to help county government function more efficiently, so county officials and employees can deliver better value to local residents.
The TAC Legislative Department helps county officials connect with state officials in Austin and provides important information to the state leadership. Both legislators and state agency leaders turn to TAC to find out how county officials feel about important issues that affect county government, while county officials count on TAC Legislative Liaisons to provide them with relevant information and voice county concerns to state officials. TAC Legislative Liaisons also promote county interests by serving on state and federal advisory committees and workgroups.
The TAC Core Legislative Group consists of county officials from various offices who have committed their time to be advocates on behalf of counties at the Legislature. The goal of the group is to work with the members of the legislature to ensure that county government can continue to serve local residents efficiently, a goal that requires members of the group to communicate clearly the impact proposed legislation will have on their local communities. In recent sessions, the Core Legislative Group has become an increasingly effective force in communicating the county perspective as county officials have forged mutually beneficial working relationships with members of the legislature.
During the session and beyond, TAC actively gathers, analyzes and distributes vital information on policy issues affecting county government. The Legislative Department keeps county officials abreast of current developments through a regular e-newsletter, County Issues,
and on the TAC website. Urgent information is distributed by email alerts to appropriate county officials. Be sure to open any email you get from TAC Legislative, especially during the session. Also, follow TAC on Twitter for legislative news and updates. We're @TexasCounties.
Since 1998, the TAC County Information Program (CIP) has served as a central source for information about Texas counties. CIP operates within the TAC Legislative Department because providing timely information is so important to the legislative process. However, the information gathered and organized by CIP is available to you at any time, through the TAC website and through various publications.
County officials now have easy access to a wealth of county data that includes tax information, county profiles, and census and financial data. TAC also offers useful comparative county data such as specific property tax and demographic information. All this information is available on the TAC website or upon request.
TAC also offers services utilizing GIS (Geographic Information Systems) technology. These services include mapping and data analysis. The TAC GIS Information Analyst works closely with both state and county leadership in dealing with important matters like emergency management and flood-plain management.
County government must operate within a complex web of laws and regulations, and one of greatest challenges county officials face is ensuring that operations
are not only efficient, but also within the law. That's where the TAC Legal Department can help. Our toll-free legal hotline (888-ASK-TAC4), connects county officials with legal specialists at TAC who can assist them in researching issues and finding statutes, opinions and court cases relevant to a particular county situation. TAC's Legal Department can provide you with the confidence of knowing that you approached your difficult job with a good understanding of the laws that apply to your operations. In addition, we provide many legal resources online, including notice of upcoming legal deadlines, a wide variety of legal publications, links to helpful legal resources and a search mechanism for laws and codes.
The TAC Legal Department also responds quickly to important legal developments by providing timely notice and analysis to the appropriate county officials. TAC also distributes upon request a number of helpful legal guides on topics that include: election laws, oath and bond requirements, open meetings, public information, financial disclosure for county officers, special and dedicated funds, animal control public finance, bail bonds, animal control and others.
Since 1974, counties have been banding together through TAC for protection against a broad range of liabilities and risks, to provide affordable health benefits to county officials and employees, and to pay for the unemployment benefits required by law. Owned and managed by counties, the TAC Risk Management Pool, TAC Health and Employee Benefits Pool and TAC Unemployment Compensation Group Account Fund have saved Texas taxpayers millions of dollars and grown to become stable, sustainable resources of protection, specifically tailored for the unique needs of counties. TAC’s pools offer all of the protection necessary for counties, county officials and county employees.
TAC's Pools Offer Members:
- Sound county governance. Each TAC pool is governed by a separate Board of Directors comprised exclusively of Texas county officials who understand conties' needs firsthand.
- Strength in Numbers. Benefit through leveraging the combined purchasing power of all member counties, getting the best value for the cost of coverage.
- Financial stability. Effectively administered by TAC, Pools undergo outside audiuts to ensure financial accountability.
Comprehensive Risk Management Services
Consultants offer knowledge and insight to help county decision-makers understand how various types of coverage protect the county against risk, how to keep unemployment costs down, and how to fashion an affordable employee benefits plan. TAC offers Risk Management Pool members training and support from specialists in safety and risk management, human resources and law enforcement. Health and Employee Benefits Pool members enjoy the benefits of the Healthy County Wellness program and benefits specialists who can advise counties regarding benefit plan designs. Both pools offer these programs to help members control losses and keep costs down.
Providing a wide variety of training opportunities relevant to the daily challenges of public office is important. Our training events -- designed and guided by county officials -- target the needs of the county audience and provide a unique opportunity for everyone to participate in coordinated, professionally planned educational activities that offer great networking opportunities. TAC training programs meet the mandatory education requirements of most county offices and many are co-sponsored by state institutions of higher learning including the University of Texas LBJ School of Public Affairs and Texas Tech University.
Created in 2000, the Texas Association of Counties Leadership Program focuses on developing leadership skills and disseminating best practices in innovation and achievement. The program features an intensive leadership class designed for county officials and a County Best Practices Awards Program. The Leadership Program also offers mid-level management training targeted toward county employees who are managers.
The Association coordinates the flow of county-related information through a variety of publications, the TAC website, social media channels and other communications to keep county officials informed about issues affecting local governments. For more than 25 years, TAC has published County
, a bi-monthly magazine offering important information that is also enjoyable to read in print and online at www.county.org/magazine
. TAC's online resources includes its website, www.county.org
; Facebook page, www.facebook.com/texascounties
; and Twitter feed, @TexasCounties.
The Association offers a number of ways for county officials to effectively communicate with each other, get their questions answered and keep abreast of issues on a day-to-day basis. One communication tool that has proven to be very popular with members are listserves. A listserve is an email group whose members can seek information from other members by sending a single email to the entire group. The Association currently administers listserves aligned by county office for officials and along areas of common interest. All listserves are free to officials and employees from TAC member counties. Membership in some listserves is limited to particular officials or organizations.
In recent years, TAC has begun to provide information to the public about county government. This project uses a variety of media, including printed materials, video and web-based information. The Association believes in the importance of helping the public to understand the value of county government, which is the government closest to the people.
Supported by the Texas Association of Counties, the TAC County Information Resources Agency (CIRA)
works to help all counties have the means and resources to implement technology that citizens now expect from their government. A main priority for CIRA
is to provide opportunities for counties to efficiently communicate with one another so that solutions can be shared.
also provides a wide variety of technology services for all counties that include: web hosting and email services, the ability to accept electronic payments, DNS hosting, assistance with domain registration and website editing training.
About Texas Association of Counties
With the formation of the Texas Association of Counties in 1969, Texas counties joined together to improve and promote the value of county government on a statewide basis. TAC is the representative voice for all Texas counties and county officials and, through TAC, counties communicate the county perspective to state officials and the general public. Understanding the way county government works and the value of county services helps state leaders preserve counties’ ability to serve their residents effectively. This cooperative effort is managed by a board of county officials and every county office is represented on the board. This group of local officials, each of whom is currently serving
his or her community, establishes policy for TAC. During its annual budget process, the board establishes the scope of TAC services and the amount of money that will be allocated to provide those services.
The Association Spells Out its Purpose
- To coordinate and augment the efforts of county officials to provide a responsive form of government to the people of Texas;
- To further the interest of local government for the people of Texas; and
- To assist the people and the counties in accomplishing their goals toward meeting the challenges of modern society.
2015 Board of Directors
Front Row (left to right)
TAC Vice President and Hidalgo County Constable, Larry Gallardo, TAC President and Oldham Co. Judge Don Allred, TAC President-Elect and Brazoria County Clerk Joyce Hudman.
2nd Row (left to right)
El Paso County Auditor Edward Dion, Moore County District Clerk Diane Hoefling, Guadalupe County Clerk Teresa Kiel, Comal County Treasurer Renee Couch
3rd Row (left to right)
Gregg County Sheriff Maxey Cerliano, Ellis County Justice of the Peace Jackie Miller Jr., Denton County Constable Michael Truitt, Lubbock County Commissioner Patti Jones, Ector County Judge Susan Redford
Back Row (left to right)
Johnson County Tax Assessor-Collector Scott Porter, Brooks County Judge Raul Ramirez, Zapata County Judge Joe Rathmell, Brazos County District Clerk Marc Hamlin