This week, the Biden administration unveiled a new budget proposal packed with pork and handouts, which included “increased government aid for workers, parents, manufacturers, retirees and students, as well as the fight against climate change.” To pay for the administration’s spending wish list, officials are proposing to raise taxes on “the wealthy and big corporations.”

Anticipating that the public might be sensitive to anything that worsens affordability, administration officials were quick to add that:

no one making less than $400,000 a year would pay a penny more in new taxes. 

Assuming that statement is true—and that’s a major assumption—then most Texas local government employees should avoid paying new and higher taxes. But at least a few public sector elites may be in the administration’s crosshairs.

For example, consider Texas’ public school superintendents, who are among the highest paid government employees in the state (despite the fact that “7 out of 10 Texas fourth graders cannot read at grade level”). According to the most recent salary data, at least 4 superintendents (in green) would be targeted with tax increases under the Biden administration’s plan while another 3 administrators (in yellow) are right on the cusp. It’s worth noting that the salary data below is from the 2022-23 school year and some endangered officials (in yellow) may have already received pay raises pushing them above the $400,000 threshold and into higher tax territory.

School District Official Name Base Salary
Cypress-Fairbanks ISD John Henry $521,003
Barbers Hill ISD Gregory Poole $466,062
Ysleta ISD Javier De La Torre $442,605
Duncanville ISD Marcell Smith $435,013
Alief ISD HD Chambers $395,968
Klein ISD Jenny McGown $388,875
Crowley ISD Michael McFarland $381,924

Source: Texas Education Agency’s Superintendent Salary Reports

Apart from those superintendents above, at least a few city managers may also be in danger from the federal Taxman. Using a variety of new sources and salary survey data, at least 3 city managers (in green) would have paid higher taxes under the Biden administration’s proposed budget were they still employed and/or the position filled. Another 4 city managers are potentially at risk and may already be earning above the $400,000 threshold given that much of the information is from last year.

City Official Name Base Salary
Austin* Unknown $475,000
El Paso** Tommy Gonzalez $442,000
Dallas*** T.C. Broadnax $423,246
Bryan Kean Register $371,800
Arlington Trey Yelverton $362,247
San Antonio Erik Walsh $364,000
Midland Tommy Gonzalez $350,000

* The city of Austin is currently interviewing city manager candidates and the base salary has not yet been finalized.

**Gonzalez was fired by the city of El Paso last year and replaced with an interim city manager who has declined a “permanent role.” City council is currently investigating other candidates.

*** Recently resigned from his position.

Of course, the short lists above are by no means complete as Texas has almost 4,500 local governmental entities and countless employees and elected officials. But hopefully, they provide some hint as to whom in Texas’ privileged public sector elite might be most at risk from the Biden administration’s proposed tax hikes.

Now for the next question: Why is anyone in Texas local government earning more than the President of the United States?