Poised to kill the goose of Texas’ golden economy are local governments, which are growing at historic levels. My friend Tom Pauken, chairman of Texas’ Workforce Commission, is lamenting this turn of events in an op-ed making the rounds in newspapers around the state.
Pauken writes that while many in state-level leadership “understands that low taxes and fiscal prudence encourage economic development,” local governments, he writes, “seem to have forgotten that important economic
lesson as they continuously keep raising our local property taxes and increasing the number of government employees.”
And how. Pauken notes that local government jobs in Texas grew by 16,000 positions in Texas in July. He compares that to the roughly 1,500 private-sector jobs created that same month.
That employment growth is fueled by local government taxing people out of house and home. Literally. Pauken notes that assessed values have jumped 12.3 percent in 2006 and 12.1 percent in 2007. That’s lead to massive amounts of money flowing into local government coffers.
Such heavy growth in bureaucracy hiring might look good on paper, but it comes at a steep cost to the state’s economy.