The Lubbock City Council is set to put final approval on a tax hike.
They say it will help pay for city projects approved by voters in 2009. Ok, fine.
Here's how it works. The city borrows money and then uses the tax increase to make payments on those loans - loans for projects like streets, fire stations, water pipelines, etc.
But here's what they don't tell you, the hard true facts about just how much debt you're incurring. as a city, and as an individual citizen.
Did you know that the City of Lubbock is more than 1 billion dollars in debt? That breaks down to more than $4,000 dollars per citizen. Per capita, that's higher than the city of Fort Worth and very comparable to the city of Dallas.
I'm not against the city paying for debt that was approved at the polls, but voters have a right to know how much debt those officials are issuing in their name, and how that ranks against other cities.
I'm endorsing Texas Controller Susan Combs' campaign called "Tell the Truth Texas." It's an honest assessment of the debt situation among Texas cities. It includes recommendations to better inform voters about what they are voting for, and what it will cost them in the long run. One idea calls for every bond election ballot to include debt implications per citizen. Wouldn't you want to know the amount you are going to be charged before you use your credit card? That's exactly what this report aims to do.
Here's a link to the study, check it out for yourself: http://www.texastransparency.org/yourmoney/pdf/TexasItsYourMoney-LocalDebt.pdf
I believe this is the kind of information we need to truly hold our elected officials accountable.
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'Consider This' is a commentary by KCBD Vice-President and General Manager Dan Jackson.
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