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DEBT at a Glance

City of Austin

Pop. 885,400

% Change Population, 2004-2013

+27.0% Austin +18.1% Texas

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Texas Comptroller Leadership Circle Winner 2013  - Gold Level

Austin in Travis and Williamson Counties was home to 885,400 Texans in 2013. Its residents had a median income of $52,431 in 2008-2012.

See Proposed Bond Issuances.


The data on this page is provided as of the date indicated and may not reflect debt, population or other data as of any subsequent date. In addition, the debt is shown for the city only, and not for other political subdivisions that may have outstanding debt, taxing powers, and the same boundaries as the city. Debt of a controlled non-profit corporation is included as debt of its sponsoring city, even if non-recourse. See other explanations.

For more information on the types of debt, refer to our Debt Glossary.

Current Debt Obligations

Debt Outstanding Austin, Texas as of August 31, 2013 [What's this?]

Debt outstanding is the principal owed over the remaining life of all debt issues
Tax Supported Debt [ ? ]
Tax-supported debt is backed by a pledge of property taxes levied within the issuer's boundaries. Some tax-supported debt may be secured by a combination of property taxes and other revenue sources. It generally must be voter-approved (with exceptions for COs, tax notes, school district maintenance tax notes, and certain county road bonds and contractual obligations for personal property.)
$1,255,049,994  
Revenue Supported Debt [ ? ]
Revenue-supported debt is secured by non-property tax revenue such as sales tax, tuition, admissions to athletic events, tolls, or water, gas, or electric municipal utility charges. As used in this site, it does not include debt that is also payable from property taxes. Revenue-supported debt generally does not require voter approval.
$4,396,667,911  
Lease-Purchase Obligations [ ? ]
Lease Purchase is financing the purchase of an asset over time through lease payments that include principal and interest. Lease purchases can be financed through a private vendor.
$0 

Source: Texas Bond Review Board

Sales Tax Rate in Fiscal Year 2013
$0.010000


Property Tax Rate in Calendar Year 2012
$0.502900
(Per $100 Valuation)

How Austin Compares

Tax-Supported Debt Outstanding for Cities of Similar Size, as of August 31, 2013

City Name Tax Supported Debt Outstanding Tax Supported Debt Outstanding Per Capita Population
San Antonio   $1,406,185,000   $998   1,409,019  
Dallas   $1,691,244,734   $1,345   1,257,676  
Austin   $1,255,049,994   $1,417   885,400  
Fort Worth   $760,725,000   $960   792,727  
El Paso   $892,660,000   $1,324   674,433  
Arlington   $479,123,437   $1,262   379,577  
Corpus Christi   $450,060,000   $1,423   316,381  
Plano   $340,125,000   $1,239   274,409  
Laredo   $318,330,000   $1,283   248,142  
Lubbock   $983,415,000   $4,105   239,538  

Source: Texas Bond Review Board, U.S. Census Bureau
Note: The table includes Austin and nine cities with closest population numbers based on 2013 U.S. Census Bureau population data. Tax-supported debt does not include revenue debt and lease-purchase obligations. For cities with municipal gas and/or electric utilities, regional airports, or other capital assets not common to cities generally, Tax-Supported Outstanding Debt may include debt for infrastructure that in other cities is carried by private enterprises, a public facility corporation or not at all.

Certificates of Obligation Issuances [What's this?]

Certificates of Obligation (COs) allow certain cities, counties and hospital or health districts to issue debt without voter approval (unless a referendum is petitioned) and are backed by tax revenue, fee revenues or a combination of the two.

Source: Texas Bond Review Board
Note: Amounts are absolute and have not been adjusted for inflation or population growth. The Bond Review Board has reconciled Certificate of Obligation issuances from 2003 through 2013.

Most Recent Bond Election

City of Austin Bond Election:
Approved Bonds

Election Proposition Purpose Amount
11/2013 Prop. 1   Affordable Housing   $65,000,000  

Defeated Bonds

Election Proposition Purpose Amount
None. 

Source: City of Austin
Note: Does not reflect authorized but unissued debt, if any, approved at earlier elections.

Proposed Bond Issuances

Election Proposition Purpose Amount
11/2014 Prop. 1   Urban Rail, Transportation   $600,000,000  

Note: Reflects only referenda currently known and verified by the Comptroller's office at this time.

For a full list statewide, see the Upcoming Bond Election Roundup.

Debt Trends

Tax-Supported Debt per Capita
changed by -14.3%
from 2004 to 2013.

City of Austin Tax-Supported Debt Per Capita Outstanding at Fiscal Year End: 10-Year Trend

Sources: Texas Bond Review Board, U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics
Note: Some debt issued before 2002 may not be reflected. Reflects debt in 2013 dollars divided by estimated population in the relevant year.

Authorized But Unissued Tax-Supported Debt

After voters approve tax-supported debt for a local entity in an election, the entity applies to the Attorney General (OAG) to approve issuance before debt is issued. Typically, the entity does not apply for the OAG to approve the total debt package at once, but rather over time so that it can manage the projects and reduce interest expense. Authorized but unissued tax-supported debt totals are the remaining voter approved tax-supported debt that the entity has not issued yet and may be issued in the future.

Election Prop. Purpose Authorized Issued Unissued
11/2012   Prop. 1   Transportation   $103,100,000   $94,660,000   $8,440,000  
11/2012   Prop. 2   Watershed Protection   $145,000,000   $130,000,000   $15,000,000  
11/2012   Prop. 3   Parks & Recreation   $84,700,000   $78,890,000   $5,810,000  
11/2012   Prop. 4   Cultural Arts   $31,500,000   $27,500,000   $4,000,000  
11/2012   Prop. 6   Library   $90,000,000   $6,800,000   $83,200,000  
11/2012   Prop. 7   Health & Human Services   $58,100,000   $53,100,000   $5,000,000  
11/2010   Prop. 1   Transportation   $90,000,000   $45,305,000   $44,695,000  
11/2006   Prop. 1   Street & Drainage   $103,100,000   $9,466,000   $8,440,000  
11/2006   Prop. 2   Flood Control   $145,000,000   $130,000,000   $15,000,000  
11/2006   Prop. 3   Parks & Recreation   $84,700,000   $78,890,000   $5,810,000  
11/2006   Prop. 4   Cultural Arts Facility   $31,500,000   $27,500,000   $4,000,000  
11/2006   Prop. 6   Library   $90,000,000   $6,800,000   $83,200,000  
11/2006   Prop. 7   Public Safety Improvements   $58,100,000   $53,100,000   $5,000,000  

Source: Texas Bond Review Board
Note: Reflects authorized but unissued tax-supported debt as of August 31, 2013. Some debt authorized prior to 2002 but still unissued may not be reflected. The 2012 and later tax-supported debt data reflects cash defeasances.

An Introduction to Understanding Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports

When you’re ready to learn about a public entity’s fiscal health, you’ll find a great deal of information in comprehensive annual financial reports (CAFRs) and other yearly reports. Often posted online alongside other financial information, CAFRs report an entity’s accounting statements, debts and other key information for the past year.

But sometimes that information can be tricky to find – and tough to understand. Because of that, our office compiled some tips for locating an entity’s CAFRs and for understanding them. You’ll learn how all CAFRs have certain similarities and when and why different entities’ CAFRs will differ in key ways. Plus, we detail strategies for pinpointing the debt, expenditure and revenue information you need to hold a government entity accountable.

Note that the data in the following publications is presented as of the dates indicated in the publications and may not reflect debt, population or other data as of any subsequent date. For further or more current information, see the applicable entity’s web site or its most recent filings at Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®). The Comptroller does not control or guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or currency of any such site. When you access any such site, you will be leaving the Comptroller’s website.

Read our Guide to Understanding
Comprehensive Annual Reports (CAFRs)

Download 2013 city debt data. (CSV, 122K)

To learn more about the finances of public pension plans that may operate in this jurisdiction, please visit our public pension search tool.


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Disclaimer

The outstanding debt data in Debt at a Glance has been obtained from the Bond Review Board, which compiles data reported by state agencies and local governments that neither the Board nor the Comptroller has independently verified. State agencies are not required to report all installment purchases but certain lease-purchase obligations are included. In addition, some state debt issued before 2006 may not be reflected.

Local governments are not required to report data for debt that is either not considered a public security as defined by state statute or does not require approval by the Office of the Attorney General of the state of Texas such as certain short-term notes, certificates of obligation delivered to contractors, bond anticipation notes and lease purchase agreements for personal property. Additionally, certain installment and lease-purchase obligations and cash defeasances of debt are not reported, while debt issued by a controlled non-profit corporation may be included as debt of its sponsoring city, county, or district. Debt includes principal but excludes interest, including compounded interest on capital appreciation bonds. Data for local debt issued before 2002 is included as estimates of debt outstanding. Outstanding debt excludes debt for which sufficient funds have been escrowed to retire the debt either from proceeds of refunding debt or, for 2012 and later debt totals only, from other sources. Consequently, the reported debt data may vary from actual debt outstanding, and the variance for a specific issuer could be substantial.

Debt at a Glance is intended to inform citizens, not to present comprehensive data for investors. Data is provided as of the date indicated and may not reflect debt, debt service, population or other data as of any subsequent date. For fuller, more detailed or more current information, see the issuers’ web sites or their filings at Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®). The Comptroller does not control or guarantee the accuracy, completeness or currency of any such site. When you access any such site, you will be leaving the Comptroller’s website.

I have read and understood...

Disclaimer

The outstanding debt data in Debt at a Glance has been obtained from the Bond Review Board, which compiles data reported by state agencies and local governments that neither the Board nor the Comptroller has independently verified. State agencies are not required to report all installment purchases but certain lease-purchase obligations are included. In addition, some state debt issued before 2006 may not be reflected.

Local governments are not required to report data for debt that is either not considered a public security as defined by state statute or does not require approval by the Office of the Attorney General of the state of Texas such as certain short-term notes, certificates of obligation delivered to contractors, bond anticipation notes and lease purchase agreements for personal property. Additionally, certain installment and lease-purchase obligations and cash defeasances of debt are not reported, while debt issued by a controlled non-profit corporation may be included as debt of its sponsoring city, county, or district. Debt includes principal but excludes interest, including compounded interest on capital appreciation bonds. Data for local debt issued before 2002 is included as estimates of debt outstanding. Outstanding debt excludes debt for which sufficient funds have been escrowed to retire the debt either from proceeds of refunding debt or, for 2012 and later debt totals only, from other sources. Consequently, the reported debt data may vary from actual debt outstanding, and the variance for a specific issuer could be substantial.

Debt at a Glance is intended to inform citizens, not to present comprehensive data for investors. Data is provided as of the date indicated and may not reflect debt, debt service, population or other data as of any subsequent date. For fuller, more detailed or more current information, see the issuers’ web sites or their filings at Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®). The Comptroller does not control or guarantee the accuracy, completeness or currency of any such site. When you access any such site, you will be leaving the Comptroller’s website.

I have read and understood...