On Saturday, Texas voters already crushed by property tax burdens approved billions in new city and school bond debt that must be repaid through property taxes.
Ten Texas cities put a combined $1.7 billion in bond propositions on the May 6 ballot.
While most city bonds passed, McKinney voters soundly rejected a $200 million proposal to expand the city-owned airport that was supported by Mayor George Fuller and other area real estate developers. With interest, the bond would have cost local property taxpayers $380 million—almost double the amount shown on the ballot.
Preliminary results show local voters across the state approved several other big city bond packages on the ballot:
Arlington passed five bond propositions totaling $278 million ($395 million with interest). The bulk of the bond money will be used to fund street improvements.
Frisco voters approved five bonds totaling $473 million ($788 million with interest). Most of the money will be used for street improvements and public safety facilities.
Pearland passed four bond propositions totaling $181 million ($304 million with interest), primarily for drainage projects.
Richardson residents said yes to a $46 million bond ($74 million with interest) to partially fund a new city hall.
Round Rock voters approved two bond propositions totaling $274 million ($456 million with interest), including a whopping $230 million to spend on parks and recreation.
Rowlett passed three bonds totaling $76 million ($117 million with interest), primarily for a public safety facility.
Bond debt is used to finance spending on big projects, and all the borrowed bond money must be repaid with interest by local property taxpayers.
Texas cities currently owe a combined $40 billion in property tax-backed bond debt, plus another $50 billion in revenue-supported debt, according to the Texas Bond Review Board.