Landgraf Files Bill to Empower Taxpayers and Increase Transparency in Debt Elections

AUSTIN — State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) filed House Bill 664 on Monday to require any ballot measure for approval of the issuance of bonds or other public debt to be submitted to voters and taxpayers only during a November election, removing the option to vote on debt during lower turnout elections.

“By requiring debt elections to be on the ballot in November when turnout is highest, HB 664 will ensure more voters have a chance to consider whether or not they want their local governments to take on more debt,” Landgraf said.

Over the last decade there has been a correlation between increasing local government debt and rising property taxes. In many cases, debt elections are held in May when voter turnout is minimal compared to November elections.

“This bill simply means that government must appeal to the largest number of voters and taxpayers before incurring more debt,” Landgraf continued. “We cannot allow runaway debt and property taxes to erode the Texas dream for our children’s children. More voters means more transparency and accountability, and that is a good thing, especially when it directly impacts your wallet.”

Landgraf and the other members of the Texas legislature will convene for the 87th Texas Legislative Session on January 12, 2021. Members of the Texas House and Texas Senate may begin filing bills for the 2021 legislative session as early as November 9, 2020. The Texas legislature meets at the Texas Capitol building for a 140-day regular session beginning the second Tuesday in January every odd-numbered year to vote on proposed legislation and pass a balanced state budget.