Largest percentage increase in debt obligations in the last four years
DES MOINES, IA (01/03/2018) (readMedia)-- State Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald reports that outstanding debt obligations for state and local governments in Iowa totaled $15.8 billion as of June 30, 2017. Overall, this represents an increase of three percent over last year, which is the largest increase in debt obligations in the last four years. All political subdivisions, instrumentalities and agencies of the state are required to disclose outstanding long-term obligations, including bonds, notes, capital leases and loans, to the state treasurer annually. "Over the last few years, we've seen stagnant numbers when it came to public debt obligations," Fitzgerald explained. "The three percent increase is likely due to financing needs that had been deferred from previous years. "
Education-related debt held steady in fiscal 2017 at 39% of the total outstanding debt in the state (public schools 24%, Board of Regents 11% and community colleges 4%). The debt of Iowa cities increased $252 million, or 4.5%, since June 30, 2016 and comprises 37% of the total outstanding debt of the state at June 30, 2017. Compared to other reporting entity groups, the State of Iowa had the largest decrease in outstanding debt in both dollars ($-41.3 million) and percentage (-4.9%). The decrease was fueled by bond refunding which lowered outstanding debt by $30 million.
"Iowa continues the trend of moderate increases in outstanding debt obligations. We make this information available to all Iowans by county so they can see the total debt and changes over the years in their own communities," Fitzgerald stated. Visit the state treasurer's office at IowaTreasurer.gov and click 'Outstanding Obligation Report' under the 'For Governments' tab to view the report and additional information by a specific reporting entity.