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Unfunded Mandates Survey Results Revisited

With the start of the special session, it’s a good time to remind everyone about unfunded state mandates, which are one of the major drivers of property tax increases and the impact those mandates have on local governments’ budgets. Please see:

Full report: The Cost of County Government: 2016 Unfunded Mandates Survey

Brief: The Cost of County Government: Six Significant Cost-Drivers Not Addressed by Lower Revenue Caps​

The full report details the growing financial impact of unfunded and underfunded mandates on county budgets and on the property tax payers who fund those budgets. This survey of the costs of Texas county government is the first of its kind.

As many people have said before, bills that lower the current 8 percent revenue cap willfully ignore the cost of government, including the burden of unfunded mandates on property tax payers. And those bills that seek to impose automatic rollback elections simply add another expensive mandate that counties will be forced to pay for with property taxes. Legislative efforts should be focused on lowering costs, not increasing them.

Please review the report and identify what these mandates cost your county tax payers. Tell your story to your legislators.

The brief highlights six significant cost-drivers from the full report.

The study, which looked at five years of data gathered from 98 counties, was conducted by the Texas Association of Counties in cooperation with the County Judges and Commissioners Association of Texas, the Texas Conference of Urban Counties and the Texas Association of County Auditors. It collected information on the costs of certain unfunded and partially funded mandates and then extrapolated to estimate the annual statewide expenditures by counties for those mandates.

The report and brief focus on the statewide extrapolations to give readers a better grasp of statewide costs incurred by property tax payers.

Questions about either the report or brief can be directed to , (512) 478-8753 or (800) 456-5974.​