Texans on Local Debt
On May 28, the Texas Comptroller announced Tell the Truth Texas, a project that aims to collect all available information on local government finances in our state, including existing and proposed debt of cities, counties, school and hospital districts and hundreds of special-purpose districts throughout Texas.
This project is centered on the principle that citizens have the right to know how much their governments owe, and that too much data is obscured and unavailable to Texas taxpayers.
We conducted an online survey and asked you to tell us some of your thoughts on local debt and your access to information about it.
Here’s what you told us:
More than one third felt completely uninformed about debt that is currently owed by cities, counties, school districts and special purpose districts.
…only 7 percent felt fully informed.
More than one quarter were unaware or didn’t have access to information on current and proposed local debt at the most recent local bond election.
…half reported having access to information that was only somewhat informative.
Almost three quarters report difficulty accessing how much debt their city, county, school district or special purpose districts have outstanding.
Almost one third reported that they were unsure if they could find that information anywhere.
To date, we have more than 200 responses to our survey on how informed you are on local government debt. If you haven't taken the survey yet, we welcome your feedback.