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Your Money and Local Debt

Thousands of Texas cities, counties, school districts and special purpose districts issue debt for a variety of purposes including school and hospital construction and renovation, water infrastructure projects and vehicle and technology purchases.

To give Texans a closer look at the local governments that issue debt in their area — and the magnitude of their outstanding debt — the Comptroller’s office has expanded its Texas Transparency website to include a new section on local debt. This new Web resource includes interactive maps that provide a close-up view of the various entities that issue public debt in each Texas county.

Types of Debt

Debt can refer to debt issued or outstanding debt.

Authorized But Unissued Debt is debt available for borrowing at any time.

Debt Issued is the total value of bond debt sold. The amount of debt issued depends on the will of the voters, action of the governing body, market conditions and budgetary needs.

Debt Outstanding is the principal owed over the remaining life of all debt issues.

Debt Service is the annual combined principal and interest amount needed to repay all debt on time and in full. This could also include other fees associated with maintaining debt.

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.

Revenue-supported Debt is secured by nontax revenues such as tuition or admissions to athletic events. This type of debt does not require voter approval.

Tax-supported Debt is funded by property tax levies within the school or community college district’s boundaries. It must be voter-approved.

Download a PDF of our September 2012 report Your Money and Local Debt (PDF, 4.5M) — A “Texas, It’s Your Money” report.

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