I like the positive statements such as "concrete evidence", and then offer that increased debt for the local taxpayers (in particular VISD and COV).
EAGLEFORD SHALE is the unique reason this area is doing so well. Give credit where credit is due.
Editorial Board,It is interesting that the web site you refered to, twice, in your editorial ... texasbudgetsource.com ... has this article on its home page; "Trend Shown Deeper Red Ink in Local Government".
This web site also states that, "spending by local governments in Texas has grown from $68B in 2000 to $104B in 2007 which is a 58% increase. During this same period population and inflation has grown by 34%."
I agree with your statement that sales tax increases is "concrete evidence" that the economy in Victoria and surrounding area is improving (when factored for inflation). I disagree with your statement that this increase is the result of, $159M in debt for new schools, and increasing debt by the city for the other projects you list.
A few million years ago the dinosaurs of South Texas 'invested' in the area by passing away and becoming shale oil. We are now 'reaping the benefits' of their investment.