The Facts

* As of FY 2012, local government debt service outstanding (principal plus interest) totaled $323.1 billion. No estimate for FY 2013 has yet been provided.

* Texas’ local debt per capita ranked as the 2nd highest among the top 10 most populous states. 

* Of the debt owed, approximately one-third can be attributed to cities, one-third to school districts, and the remaining one-third to counties and special districts. 

* From FY 2000 to FY 2009, local debt outstanding increased by 144.4% while population and inflation increased by just 44.9%.


* Provide Texas voters with basic financial information at the ballot box, such as the projected total cost of a bond proposition; the amount of existing debt owed by the asking entity; and the possible resulting tax increase or decrease in the event of a proposition’s passage. 

* Require local governments to submit to basic standards of financial transparency, including the creation and regular maintenance of an official website featuring the entity’s operating budget, financial statements, and check register.

* Ban the issuance of capital appreciation bonds.