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Texas taxpayers are forced to pay millions each year to a government-lobbying group that serves as the umbrella organization for public sector unions. In other words, taxpayers are not only forced to fund their opposition—they’re forced to subsidize the political views of private organizations.

The Texas Municipal League (TML) is an association of city governments. Their member cities use tax dollars to fund TML’s budget, which is then spent on member benefits including conferences, research, other resources, and the lobbying of state lawmakers.

TML recently bragged on their website about their “power ranking” as a government lobbyist. But it’s easy to make a big splash in Austin attacking conservative reforms when your efforts are financed with millions of tax dollars.

Even worse, TML’s policy agenda is objectively anti-taxpayer.

The next time local officials and government employees are quoted in newspapers trashing pro-taxpayer reforms, remember: taxpayers are funding their propaganda.

TML had the audacity – and lack of intellectual integrity – to claim that a law designed to empower local taxpayers somehow undermined “local control.” That’s because TML represents the interests of local cities and their politicians. And it’s their power to raise taxes that could have been limited by their own constituents if property tax reform – Senate Bill 1 and Senate Bill 2 – had passed in 2017.

Stated differently, TML fights for local government control, especially if doing so undermines local taxpayer control.

But TML doesn’t only represent local government interests and their politicians – they’re the umbrella organization for dozens of public sector unions. In other words, taxpayers are funding the lobbying efforts of private organizations.

This partnership is the reason why numerous police and fire chiefs were parroting TML’s false and misleading claims that voter-approval requirements for higher property taxes would somehow “threaten public safety.”

Below are TML’s affiliate organizations:

Association of Hispanic Municipal Officials (AHMO)

Building Officials Association of Texas (BOAT)

Government Finance Officers Association of Texas (GFOAT)

Texas Association of Black City Council Members (TABCCM)

Texas Association of Governmental Information Technology Managers (TAGITM)

Texas Association of Mayors, Councilmembers and Commissioners (TAMCC)

Texas Association of Municipal Health Officials (TAMHO)

Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers (TAMIO)

Texas Chapter of the American Planning Association (TXAPA)

Texas City Attorneys Association (TCAA)

Texas City Management Association (TCMA)

Texas Court Clerks Association (TCCA)

Texas Fire Chiefs Association (TFCA)

Texas Municipal Clerks Association, Inc. (TMCA)

Texas Municipal Human Resources Association (TMHRA)

Texas Municipal Library Directors Association (TMLDA)

Texas Municipal Utilities Association (TMUA)

Texas Police Chiefs Association (TPCA)

Texas Public Purchasing Association (TxPPA)

Texas Public Works Association (TPWA)

Texas Recreation and Park Society (TRAPS)