This commentary originally appeared in the Austin American-Statesman on April 7, 2015.
Voters aren’t provided with enough information at the ballot box to make an informed decision on debt, and it’s helping to create a tidal wave of red ink.
Currently, Texans are given only two pieces of information when they vote on a debt proposition: the principal amount to be borrowed and an often vague description of its purpose. With so little detail, it’s simply not realistic to think that people — busy working, raising kids and running their households — will know all that they should about every city, county, school district and special district bond that’s up for a vote. Allowing the public to remain in the dark on debt has not been without consequence.
Quintero is the director of the Center for Local Governance at the Texas Public Policy Foundation; email@example.com.