"But the former governors who were before me laid burdens on the people, and took from them bread and wine, besides forty shekels of silver. Yes, even their servants bore rule over the people, but I did not do so, because of the fear of God."
New, from Watchdog:
A new report applauds the Texas Legislature for cutting taxes (*), but local governments and schools are wiping out the reductions with increased spending and debt.Read the whole thing here.
“There’s a disconnect — aggressive tax cuts at the state level, with out-of-control spending at the local level,” Williams told Watchdog.org in an interview.
Last November, Texas voters ratified a Legislature-approved expansion of the state’s homestead exemption. But the $10,000 increase provides little shelter from rapidly escalating local property taxes, among the highest in the nation.
In Dallas, city tax collections increased 38 percent over the past decade – nearly 10 times faster than its population. The operating budget has risen 25 percent during the past three years.
In Austin, the median property tax bill jumped 50 percent since 2009.
Texas taxpayers shoulder the second-highest local debt, on a per-capita basis, among the nation’s 10 largest states. Roughly two-thirds of Texas’ $330 billion local debt load comes from school districts.
Last year, Houston’s public pension debt surpassed Detroit’s – a city that has declared bankruptcy.
* Author's Note: And they could have done A LOT more there.