Download the “Your Tools for Tracking Your Tax Dollars” (PDF, 586K) worksheets.
Exercising Your Power as a Taxpayer
Attend hearings and meetings of local governments that issue debt in your name. Learn the faces and know the reasons and arguments behind these decisions to take on debt. Make your voice heard.
Texas open meetings laws require all local governments to post their meeting agendas at least 72 hours before the meeting begins. Many post notices online, others post on notice boards at the door of city hall or in the county courthouse hallway.
Put Yourself in the Know
The Comptroller’s report series “Texas, It’s Your Money” looks at broader issues that impact Texas taxpayers every day.Sign up to receive exclusive email updates when new reports are released.
Learn the basics of state and local government debt.
The Texas Bond Review Board (BRB) offers information and resources on state debt finance and local government debt.
The agency’s mission is to ensure that debt financing is used prudently to meet Texas’ infrastructure needs and other public purposes and to support and enhance the debt issuance and debt management functions of state and local entities. They offer a list of state debt issuers, guidelines for state issuers, recently approved state transactions, and a searchable database of all state debt.
For reports and resources to help you better understand local government debt, terminology, policies and legislative changes related to local government debt, visit the BRB’s Local Government Services page.
See how your local debt ranks.
Compare how your city or county’s debt stacks up with other areas. Look up debt issued by individual city, county, water district and other special purpose district using the Comptroller’s maps and look-up tool.
Download the “Your Tools for Tracking Your Tax Dollars” worksheets to document what you find.
The BRB offers a searchable database showing local government debt outstanding on an issue-by-issue basis at a snapshot in time. You can also download a spreadsheet that contains debt outstanding data presented by issuer, along with debt ratios, population numbers, tax rates and assessed values.
Know what’s on the ballot.
Stay informed on proposed bond issues in your city or county. Attend your local city and town council meetings, where bond issues are proposed and discussed. Stay abreast of news and updates on proposed bond issues by reading your local newspaper of record. Voice concerns to your local government leaders.