AUSTIN – Today the Texas Public Policy Foundation released a report by Center for Local Governance Director James Quintero calling on the Texas Legislature to better inform voters at the ballot box. The report, Improving Financial Transparency at the Ballot Box, asks lawmakers to provide every Texan with basic financial information about each proposed debt issuance at the voting booth including: the anticipated tax impact, existing debt obligations, and the estimated principal and interest required to pay the bond in full and on-time.
“There is an emerging local government debt crisis in Texas,” said Quintero. “Cities, counties, school districts, and special districts have amassed more than $328 billion of total debt as of fiscal year 2013, which means that each Texan owes approximately $12,400 on behalf of their local governments—and there’s nothing to suggest that Texas’ ballooning local debt will subside on its own.
“There’s no silver bullet for Texas’ local debt difficulties. A much-needed step in the right direction, however, is to begin informing Texans at the voting booth of the financial condition of their community and how it might be impacted, if at all, should a proposition pass.”
To read the full report, visit: http://txpo.li/ballot-box-transparency
James Quintero is the Director of the Center for Local Governance at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin.
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