Texas’ cities, counties, school districts, and special districts are awash in red ink, and newly obtained data from the Bond Review Board (BRB) shows that the problem is only growing in scope and severity.
According to the BRB’s latest figures, local government debt outstanding (principal only) grew to $205.3 billion in fiscal year 2014, an increase of $5 billion compared to the preceding fiscal year. That means that each Texan is indebted to the tune of roughly $7,500 on account of their local governments’ spending largesse.
Of course, that doesn’t account for interest.
Local debt service outstanding (remaining principal and interest) totals $333.1 billion, also an increase of $5 billion over the previous year. On a per capita basis, each Texan’s total local debt burden is near $12,500.
The size and growth of local government debt makes it critical that incoming lawmakers begin to seriously address this issue with substantive measures, such as those offered recently by a coalition of conservative-minded groups.