A Municipal Utility District (MUD) is one of several types of special districts that function as independent, limited governments. Originally, MUDs were very limited in what they were allowed to finance and what services they could provide. Over time, MUDs began taking on more responsibilities and providing enhanced services for their residents such as parks and recreation and solid waste service. MUDs rely on the County to provide police and road maintenance services and Emergency Service Districts (ESDs) for providing fire protection.
A Municipal Utility District (MUD) is a political subdivision of the State of Texas and is granted certain powers by the Texas Legislature under Utilities Code 54.201:
(a) A district shall have the functions, powers, authority, rights, and duties which will permit accomplishment of the purposes for which it was created.
(b) A district is authorized to purchase, construct, acquire, own, and operate, maintain, repair, improve, or extend inside and outside its boundaries any and all works, improvements, facilities, plants, equipment, and appliances necessary to accomplish the purposes of its creation, including all works, improvements, facilities, plants, equipment and appliances incident, helpful, or necessary to:
- supply water for municipal uses, domestic uses, power, and commercial purposes and all other beneficial uses or controls;
- collect, transport, process, dispose of, and control all domestic, industrial, communal wastes whether in fluid, solid, or composite state;
- gather, conduct, divert, and control local storm water or other local harmful excesses of water in a district;
- irrigate the land in a district;
- alter land elevation in a district where it is needed;
- navigate coastal and inland waters of the district: and
- provide parks and recreational facilities for the inhabitants of the district
For more detail, please see the Association of Water Board Directors (AWBD) discussion: ‘MUDs Are Good For Texas’