Despite the suffering and sacrifice of ordinary taxpayers, it seems that some North Texas governments are continuing to tax and spend like normal.
For example, Tarrant County officials just approved a budget with “3 to 6 percent salary increases” for county employees. Elsewhere, Fort Worth and Arlington ISDs are asking voters to support massive tax increases—in spite of the mile-long lines that have formed outside of area food banks.
The obvious disconnect even prompted the Fort Worth Star-Telegram Editorial Board to write recently:
“Are you kidding? … Did anyone tell our local elected officials we’re in a recession?”
The Star-Telegram has it right. Now is not the time to carry on with business as usual. Instead, local officials should be fixated on cutting costs and protecting taxpayers right now. Much like Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson recently attempted to do by offering budget amendments to lower city salaries in excess of $60,000. While the effort failed, the mayor had it right when he said government employees “owe it to [the people] to share the sacrifices.”
North Texas needs more examples like the one in Dallas and fewer like… everywhere else.