Decades, local government spending has grown much faster than the ideal. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, local government spending in Texas totaled $40.3 billion in 1992. By 2013—the latest available data— aggregate local spending had risen to $126.4 billion, representing an increase of almost 215% over the period.

While some level of increase is to be expected—especially in a fast-growing state like Texas—the trajectory of local spending growth has been well in excess of traditional economic measures like population and inflation.