Hays County residents approved the two bond measures on the ballot yesterday, adding $237.8 million in new debt and bringing their total local debt to $584.8 million. Hays County already has the second highest per-capita local debt out of counties with a population above 40,000.
Propositions 1 and 2 are intended to fund a new government call center and roads, respectively. Both proposals are fraught with problems, however: the government center is set to be located on flood-prone property, and the road bond directs $32.5 million into a discretionary fund.
Interestingly, the bonds enjoyed widely different victory margins, despite similar cast vote totals. Proposition 1 narrowly won with 51% of the vote – whereas Proposition 2 won handily with 59%. Roughly 5,000 more people voted for Prop 2 than voted for Prop 1.
Property taxes in Hays County have been skyrocketing – up 26% over the past three years alone. Unfortunately, it looks as though they will continue to do so. Now more than ever, residents who are tired of shouldering an increasing burden need to stay involved with their county affairs and keeping those officials accountable.