The Facts

* Local government spending for fiscal year 2011 was approximately $125.8 billion (about $5,000 per capita), the same annual amount spent by Texas state government in FY 2011. Education is the biggest category of spending, constituting more than 40% of all local expenditures.

* There has been a 63% increase in local spending from 2002 to 2011, the largest percentage increases come from public safety, and social services and welfare. This is outgrowing the rate of population (18% growth) and inflation (25% growth).

* These changes increase the cost of government per person, higher taxes, more fees, and overall more bureaucracy. 


* To slow the growth of local government spending, state and local policy makers should reform Texas' tax and expenditure limit, improve financial and economic development transparency, and encourage local governments to embrace the zero-based budgeting concept.