Taxpayers in Travis County pay one of the highest tax rates of residents in urban counties in Texas. Affordability means more than having low taxes – having essential services underfunded could lead to inefficiencies and injustices that also significantly reduce the affordability of living in Travis County. A balance must be reached – transparency and modernization of county government are essential to that balance.
Travis County Commissioners must also do more to monitor the performance of county programs we pay for as taxpayers – it is not enough to know simply how much is being spent, we need a better look at what we are getting for our money.
While I applaud our current commissioners for keeping our County tax rate from increasing significantly in recent years, much more can be done. There are more taxing units in Travis County, for instance, than in Dallas and Bexar Counties combined. We need a commissioner who will work with those taxing units to eliminate duplication and inefficiencies while implementing basic cost saving measures such as cooperative purchasing.
Currently, it can be very difficult to figure out exactly how tax dollars spent by Travis County are used and even more challenging to figure out how well the programs perform. We must institute a culture of transparency that will allow County Commissioners and citizens to get a full picture of where their tax dollars are going.