Cities, counties, school districts, and special districts in Texas are drowning in debt. In FY 2016, total local debt topped $342 billion or $12,278 owed for every man, woman, and child in the Lone Star State; meanwhile, local debt is outgrowing population and inflation by more than 2-to-1.
Among the 10 most populous states, Texas’ local debt per capita ($8,350) ranks as the second greatest, behind only New York. State legislators should properly educate Texans in the voting booth. Voters should have basic financial information—like total cost and tax impact—when deciding on the merits of a bond proposition. Better educated voters will make more informed decisions about the direction of their communities.