TPPF Policy Orientation panel:
A Rising Tide: Local govt. debt.
James Quintero (TPPF); Beth Hallmark (Texas Comptroller's office); Peggy Venable (Americans for Prosperity -- Texas); Keith Self (County Judge -- Collin County); Ben Wilterdink (ALEC)
- Local govt debt is a long-term threat to the Texas Model
- $323 billion total across the state; $12,500 per person.
- Since 2000: Local debt up 144%, Inflation + Population up 45%
- Tell the Truth Texas -- Website launched by comptrollers office in late 2013.
- Debt at a glance -- Putting all the information in one place.
- When local government debt grows, the public rarely knows.
- Texas ranks 46th nationally in debt service per government revenue.
- School Districts: $107 billion. Municipalities: $96 billion. Water districts: $50 billion. Counties: $21 billion. Special purpose districts:
- Leander ISD owes TWICE as much interest as principle on their debt.
- What to do?!?
- Government goes to those who show up!
- City council, county commission, school boards.
- Let policymakers know how you feel; especially when you agree with them!
- Policy Recmmendations
- Ban Local governments from using capital appreciation bonds.
- Require a minimum vter turnout to approve bond initiatives
- If a bond election fails, prohibit another election to be held for at least one calendar year.
- Ban taxpayer funded lobbying.
- Tighten standards for local debt issuance.
- Repeal the authority for local authorities to issue Certificates of Obligation in the first place.
- Defined benefit pensions aren't sustainable.
- 8% annual ROI is a ridiculous assumption
- Government entities use different accounting methods than private companies.
- If a state doesn't contribute, beneficiaries don't have standing in court to sue.
- Zero based budgeting.
- Defined contribution for new hires.
- Colin county is one of the fastest growing counties in America.
- Travis county debt per capita is only $585.