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DEBT at a Glance

TEXAS STATE LINE

POP. 26,448,193

% Change Population, 2004-2013

+18.1% Texas +7.7% U.S.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Texas, the second-largest state, is growing rapidly and by many measures has one of the nation’s strongest economies, having avoided the worst of the boom-and-bust cycles that plagued many states in the last decade.

Texas issues state debt to fund a variety of purposes, including transportation, water projects, public housing and construction at state colleges and universities. According to recent Census data, Texas has the second lowest state debt per capita among the 10 largest states.


The data on this page is provided as of the date indicated and may not reflect debt, debt service, population or other data as of any subsequent date. See other explanations.

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

Current Debt Obligations

TEXAS STATE DEBT OUTSTANDING,

as of August 31, 2013 (Thousands)

General Obligation Debt $15,349,533 
Non-General Obligation Debt $28,188,615 
Total Debt Outstanding $43,538,148 

Source: Texas Bond Review Board
Note: Numbers may not sum due to rounding.
Some of this debt may be self-supporting, that is, paid in whole or part with dedicated non-tax revenue, even when backed by a pledge of general revenue.

TEXAS STATE DEBT AUTHORIZED BUT UNISSUED

as of August 31, 2013 (Thousands)

Authorized but unissued debt for the state is debt that the legislature has approved but has yet to be issued and may be issued any time in the future.

General Obligation Debt $16,244,585 
Non-General Obligation Debt $3,765,981 

Source: Texas Bond Review Board
Note: Numbers may not sum due to rounding.
Some of this debt may be self-supporting, that is, paid in whole or part with dedicated non-tax revenue, even when backed by a pledge of general revenue.

GENERAL OBLIGATION (GO) DEBT is legally secured by a constitutional pledge of the first monies coming into the State Treasury that are not constitutionally dedicated for another purpose. GO debt must be approved by a 2/3 vote of both houses of the legislature and a majority of Texas voters.

NON-GENERAL OBLIGATION DEBT includes debt that is secured by a specific revenue source and some lease purchase obligations. Generally, non-general obligation debt does not require voter approval and is not considered "debt" limited by the Texas Constitution.

How Texas Compares

10 MOST POPULOUS STATES
TOTAL Debt Outstanding,

States' Respective Fiscal Year End 2011

State Total Debt
Outstanding
Debt Outstanding
Per Capita
Population
California  $149,670,954,000   $3,905  38,332,521 
Texas  $38,530,338,000   $1,457  26,448,193 
New York  $134,928,505,000   $6,866  19,651,127 
Florida  $43,471,755,000   $2,223   19,552,860 
Pennsylvania  $45,267,281,000   $3,544   12,773,801 
Ohio  $30,926,386,000   $2,673  11,570,808 
Georgia  $13,402,568,000   $1,341  9,992,167 
Michigan  $30,975,273,000   $3,130   9,895,622 
North Carolina  $18,556,175,000   $1,884   9,848,060 
New Jersey  $64,004,651,000   $7,192   8,899,339 

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.
Note: Texas debt outstanding from the Census Bureau differs from that reported by the Texas Bond Review Board. Population figures are 2013 Census estimates.

State Debt Service Requirements

Debt service includes principal and interest payable over the life of outstanding debt. Some of this debt may be self-supporting, that is, paid in whole or in part with dedicated non-tax revenue, even when backed by a pledge of general revenue.

State Debt Service Scheduled To Be Paid As Of August 31, 2013 (Thousands)
2014  $3,442,840 
2015  $3,802,756 
2016  $3,738,529 
2017  $3,620,558 
2018  $3,566,072 
2019 and beyond  $57,321,067 
Total Debt Service
(Principal and Interest)
$75,491,822 

Source: Texas Bond Review Board
Note: Variable rate debt and commercial paper (CP) are included in the table. The Bond Review Board estimates interest on variable rate debt based on data that is provided by its issuer, and it includes debt service assuming a 20-year level debt service amortization and interest at 5% per annum. Actual debt service for variable rate debt and CP will vary depending on market conditions and future decisions regarding amortization. Issuers may accelerate the retirement of debt but must comply with debt covenants. Any debt prepayments would reduce debt service owed on the remaining outstanding debt.

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT PROPOSITIONS IMPACTING STATE FINANCES

2014   Provides for the transfer of certain general revenue to the economic stabilization fund and to the state highway fund and for the dedication of the revenue transferred to the state highway fund. Up for Vote
2013 Prop. 6  Provides for the creation of the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas and the State Water Implementation Revenue Fund for Texas to assist in the financing of priority projects in the state water plan to ensure the availability of adequate water resources. Approved

Source: Texas Secretary of State
Note: Constitutional amendment elections generally happen in November of odd-numbered years.

DEBT TRENDS

Debt Per Capita changed by 49.5% from 2004 to 2013.

STATE OF TEXAS 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 2006 may not be reflected. Reflects debt in 2013 dollars divided by estimated population in the relevant year. Texas debt outstanding from the Texas Bond Review Board differs from that reported by the U.S. Census Bureau. Some of this debt may be self-supporting, that is, paid in whole or in part with dedicated non-tax revenue, even when backed by a pledge of general revenue.

CONSTITUTIONAL DEBT LIMIT RATIOS:

DEBT SERVICE AS A PERCENTAGE OF UNRESTRICTED GENERAL REVENUE

Ratio 1: Debt Service on Outstanding Debt 1.34%
Ratio 2: Debt Service on Outstanding Debt Plus Pro Forma Debt Service on Authorized but Unissued Debt 3.04%
Constitutional Debt Limit 5.00%

Source: Texas Bond Review Board, Legislative Budget Board

Notes:
In 1997 the 75th Legislature passed and the voters approved a constitutional debt limit CDL that restricts the amount of GR-supported debt the state may issue. GR-supported debt may not be authorized if the annual debt service on all outstanding GR-supported debt, including authorized but unissued debt, exceeds 5 percent of the average annual unrestricted General Revenue Fund revenues for the previous three fiscal years.

The CDL tracks non-self-supporting debt service payable from the unrestricted General Revenue Fund whether general obligation debt or revenue debt. It excludes revenues constitutionally dedicated for purposes other than state debt. Unrestricted General Revenue includes revenue available to pay debt service on state debt. For purposes of estimating debt obligations subject to the CDL, the BRB assumes authorized but unissued debt will have a 20-year term and a 6 percent interest rate.

For the outstanding debt portion of the CDL, the Bond Review Board uses the peak debt service year for General Obligation and revenue debt. For the CDL calculated as of August 31, 2013, the peak debt service year is 2014. Peak debt service is the year in which debt service owed is highest; the Bond Review Board aggregates all debt payable from unrestricted general revenue to determine the year with the highest total debt service.

To calculate debt service on authorized but unissued debt, the Bond Review Board assumes debt will have a 20-year term, level debt-service structure, and a 6 percent interest rate.

For explanations of debt service and related assumptions and risks, see “State Debt Service Requirements.”

An Introduction to 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 publication is presented as of the dates indicated in the publication and may not reflect debt, debt service, population or other data as of any subsequent date. For further or more current information, see the applicable agency’s filings on Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) or its own web site.

Read our Guide to Understanding
Comprehensive Annual Reports (CAFRs)

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

Download 2013 Texas debt data. (CSV, 4K)


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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...