Sullivan: How I’m Voting

Since being adopted in 1876, the Texas Constitution has been amended 507 times. If it seems Texans do more “amending” than most states, it is because our state’s Constitution requires voter approval for changing aspects of state law that elsewhere is left up to the politicians.

Locally, many of us are also being asked to allow the issuance of multimillion-dollar bonds to do all sorts of fun and exciting things. Left unmentioned is that those “bonds” represent debt you and your neighbors will have to pay off.

Bonds are like the credit card debt of the government. It’s not the $50 charged to the card that creates problems, but the interest that rapidly accrues when that money isn’t immediately paid off. But bonds are worse, because they are designed not to be paid back quickly; they are designed to collect interest. That means taxpayers are on the hook for whatever amount is listed—plus another 50 percent or so.

So, I almost always vote “no” on local bonds unless the need is explicit and the spending plan is extremely detailed. I vote “no” a lot.
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