TX Comptroller Combs tackles local debt

January 22, 2013

Texas Comptroller Susan Combs has taken on the issue of local government debt.

For more than four years, we have felt like the Lone Rangers talking about local government debt.    We have been crusaders for the next generation.  Debt issued today will be dumped in the lap of our children and grandchildren.  We have become a buy-now-pay-later society.  And no one espouses that philosophy more than local government.  (Well, maybe the federal government mentality is playing out locally.)

But we all know how much debt the federal government is placing on the next generation of taxpayers.  But few people know about local government debt.

Jaws dropped last week when I spoke in New Braunfels and pointed out that Comal ISD owes over $1 billion.  And an audience I addressed in Austin the following day were shocked to see that Leander ISD owes $2.8 billion, and around 2/3 of that is interest.

Who knew that local governments in Texas owed more than $322 billion?

Comptroller Susan Combs directed her office to study the issue and published a report that every legislator, taxpayer and local official in Texas should read.   It’s titled Your Money and Local Debt.

Comptroller Combs issued the paper as one of the series on Texas Transparency,  It’s Your Money.    We at Americans for Prosperity urge more state officials to join the Texas Comptroller in championing transparency in government.  And yes, even local government needs transparency.  It may be closest to the people but often the people don’t know what their local officials are doing.

Let’s use Bell, California, as an example of how local citizens – even in a relatively small town – can be duped.

Every level of government is piling up incredible bills. And they’re coming due, whether we like it or not.

We are leaving our children and grandchildren a legacy of debt, not the legacy most of us want to leave them.

Read Comptroller Combs’ editorial here:


Thank you, Comptroller Susan Combs, for championing the next generation of taxpayers.

–        Peggy Venable

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