AUSTIN, Texas —  Tuesday, the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Fiscal Matters and the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Budget Transparency and Reform heard public testimony on two critical financial transparency bills: Senate Bill 14 and House Bill 14. Both bills would put more spending and debt-related information at the fingertips of Texas taxpayers, restrict certain abusive debt practices, and create a review process of local taxing districts to ensure that Texans are not being taxed without reason.
“On the issue of local government transparency, Texas Comptroller Susan Combs said it best: ‘The reality is that few government entities make it easy for the taxpayers to figure out what they owe, what debt costs and what it pays for.’ With little to no information made available to Texas taxpayers on the ballot, it is little wonder that local government debt per capita ranks as the second highest in the nation and local spending growth almost doubles population and inflation,” said Talmadge Heflin, Director of the Center for Fiscal Policy at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
“The first step to getting a handle on Texas’ local spending and debt explosion is to educate Texans on the mountain of debt that exists and the avalanche that awaits if we don’t start addressing this problem,” said James Quintero, Senior Fiscal Policy Analyst at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. “The financial futures of our children and our children’s children are on the line. That’s why these two bills are so critical.”
To see the Foundation’s submitted written testimony click http://tinyurl.com/cvqlabo.
The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a nonprofit, free-market research institute based in Austin.