Work on the 2018 Unfunded Mandates (UFM) Survey is starting up. In coordination with the Texas Association of County Auditors, the County Treasurers’ Association of Texas, the County Judges & Commissioners Association of Texas and the Conference of Urban Counties, we are in the process of reviewing the 2016 UFM survey in preparation for the 2018 iteration.
Part of that review includes determining which questions from the 2016 survey need to be edited or dropped and what, if any, new questions need to be added. We are also looking at the survey timing: when should it begin and when it should end.
If you have any comments on the survey, thoughts on additional questions, or ideas on how it can be improved, please contact Tim Brown at (800) 456-5974.
In 2016, during the previous legislative interim, we studied just how much counties spend on selected unfunded mandates pushed down on them from the state. Information from the 2016 survey was extremely useful during the session and played a part in the push for a constitutional amendment to limit unfunded mandates led by Rep. DeWayne Burns (R-Cleburne). While the legislation failed to reach Governor Abbott’s desk, it did get further through the legislative process than any prior attempt, garnering overwhelming, bipartisan support. When it came to the floor, 127 House members voted in favor of the proposed amendment.
More recently, acknowledging the plight of local governments, Gov. Abbott’s property tax reform proposal included a call for unfunded mandate protection.
Hopefully, with your help, the 2018 UFM survey will be just as successful, if not more so. Please stay tuned for further updates. We will let you know when to expect the new survey form.