Spotlighting Local Government Finance

Information technology has vastly changed our ability to provide access to government data — and the public’s expectations for such access.

In a world in which oceans of information are available to anyone with a mobile device, taxpayers deserve similar access to meaningful data on how government agencies spend their dollars, and for what purposes. Increasingly, they demand it.

Since January 2007, the Texas Comptroller’s office has been a tireless advocate for financial transparency at all levels of government. We’ve opened the state’s books for taxpayers, shining a light on the ins and outs of revenue and debt that affect the people who actually pay the bills. And we’re not stopping now.

Our local governments need the same sort of sunshine. Local finances account for more than half of all Texas state and local taxes and four-fifths of its government debt — $200.2 billion at the end of fiscal 2013. Local spending and debt are skyrocketing, as is the sheer number of government bodies that levy taxes and issue debt in your name.

Tell the Truth Texas will be a place where we to collect all available information on local government finances in our state, including the existing and proposed debt of cities, counties, school and hospital districts and hundreds of special-purpose districts throughout Texas.

Stay tuned — more to come!

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