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Guide to Services

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. 
 

Legislative Support

TAC’s 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.
 
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 receive from TAC Legislative, especially during the session. Also, follow TAC on Twitter for legislative news and updates. We’re @TexasCounties.
 
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.
 
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.
 

Relevant and Timely Legal Information

​County government operates within a complex web of laws and regulations, and one of the 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. A toll-free TAC Helpline, (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 county officials with the confidence of knowing that they approached a difficult job with a good understanding of the laws that apply to their operations. In addition, the Legal Department provides 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 and others.
 

Pool Coverage and Related Services

Since 1974, counties have been pooling their resources 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, specifically tailored for the unique needs of counties. TAC’s pools offer all of the coverage necessary for counties, county officials and county  employees.  
 

TAC's Pools Offer Members:

  • Sound county governance. Each TAC pool is governed by a Board of Directors comprised exclusively of Texas county officials who understand counties' needs firsthand.
  • Strength in Numbers. TAC pools provide benefit by 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 audits to ensure financial accountability.

Comprehensive Risk Management and Benefits Services

Consultants offer knowledge and insight to help county decision-makers understand the various types of risk and the coverage available to reduce the risk, keep unemployment costs down and understand how to fashion an affordable employee benefits plan. The TAC Risk Management Pool offers members training and support from specialists in safety and risk management, human resources and law enforcement. TAC 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. TAC Unemployment Compensation Group Account Fund members receive representation upon request at unemployment hearings and receive training in best employment practices from TAC’s Human Resources Consultants.

 

 


Education and Training to Fit Your Needs

Providing a wide variety of training opportunities relevant to the daily challenges of public office is important. TAC’s training events – delivered through its Leadership Program, Judicial Education Program and County Investment Academy – are designed and guided by county officials. They 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, Texas State University and Texas Tech University.
 
In addition to hosting its own events, TAC offers affiliate county official organizations a slate of services including conference management, event registration, continuing education tracking and dues management.
 

A Network of Communications

TAC 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 news and features in print and online at www.county.org/magazine. TAC’s online resources include its website, www.county.org; Facebook page, www.facebook.com/texascounties; Instagram page, www.instagram.com/texascounties; and Twitter feed, www.twitter.com/texascounties.

The Association offers many ways county officials can communicate with each other, get their questions answered and keep abreast of current issues. One resource TAC administers is listservs aligned by county office for officials. All listservs are free to county officials and employees. Membership in some listservs is limited to particular officials or organizations. Members of each listserv email group seek information from each other by sending an email to the group.

The Association’s public information campaign, Texas Counties Deliver, aims to inform the public about the value of county government and the essential services it provides Texans. This project uses a variety of media, including printed materials, video and web-based information. County officials are encouraged to participate. See www.county.org/texascountiesdeliver for more information and resources.
 

Technology: Tools and Solutions

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.
 
CIRA also provides a wide variety of technology services for all counties that include: web hosting and email services, the ability to accept electronic payments, Domain Name System hosting, assistance with domain registration and website editing training. 
 

Toll-free Resources

For county officials with questions about their office or county government: TAC Helpline (888) ASK-TAC4 or (888) 275-8224. Answered 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Friday.
 
For county judges with questions about their office: Judicial Hotline (844) CoJudge or (844) 265-8343. Answered 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Friday.

For TAC Risk Management Pool (TAC RMP) members with claims: TAC RMP Claims Hotline (855) 47CLAIM or (855) 472-5246. Answered 24/7.