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Budget Transparency

Legislators should appropriately account for spent tax dollars, eliminate state budget inefficiencies, and determine why each agency and its programs are necessary. Additionally, zero-based budgeting would provide a more thorough budget analysis than the current approach.


  • By law, require a clear, accessible report of all government spending including, but not limited to, federal spending flowing into any local or state government in Texas.
  • Switch from the current strategy-based budgeting format to a program-based budgeting format.
  • Post budget information throughout the budget process online so that it will be available to Texans and legislators in near real time.
  • Adopt zero-based budgeting to about one-third of the budget every biennium so that each portion is reviewed every third biennium.

Talking points for liberty fighters

  • The current strategy-based budgeting format, which links appropriations to strategies and goals rather than programs, contributes to rising spending and less transparency.
  • The LBB increased budget transparency by developing an online application offering the state budget by program after the 83rd Legislature.
  • Zero-based budgeting is a more thorough budget analysis than the current approach.

Our stance on specific bills related to this issue

HB 81

Local governments and cities require more accountability to keep the public informed. HB 81 would help to uphold the intent of the Texas Public Information Act.

HB 134

  • Improves ballot language transparency
  • Prevents governing boards or commissioners’ courts from including more than one project or category of expenditure in any proposition submitted to authorize the issuance of bonds
  • School districts hide excessive expenditures such as large sports stadiums, in bonds without making voters aware

SB 462

  • Improves transparency in the debt issuance process by requiring bond propositions to specify:
    • the purpose for the debt obligation
    • the principal amount of debt to be authorized
    • the taxes that may be imposed to pay the annual interest and principal
    • the aggregate amount of outstanding principal of existing local debt
    • the debt service portion of the property tax rate for the political subdivision at the time the election is ordered

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