Financial Transparency : Debt Obligations
The Debt Obligations Transparency page contains information required by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts to qualify for the Comptroller's Transparency Stars program. This information will provide a broader understanding of the City's finances.
General Debt service is used to account for the monies set aside for the payment of principal and interest to holders of the City’s general obligation bonds, the sale of which finance long-term capital improvements such as facilities, streets, drainage, and parks. Bonds may be refunded to achieve debt service savings on outstanding bonds, when allowable under federal tax law, state law, and in compliance with City policy. The City considers refunding when cost savings will be recognized and market conditions are favorable. The City works closely with its financial advisor and bond counsel when considering an original issuance or refunding.
Various types of long-term debt have been issued by the City for the acquisition and construction of major capital facilities and equipment as follows:
General Obligation (GO Bonds)
All General Obligation (GO) Bonds are issued on the full faith and credit of the City and are secured by Ad Valorem taxes levied against all taxable property. The State requires incorporated cities to submit proposed bond issues to a public referendum and receive voter authorization prior to bond issuance (Article 701). These bonds are serviced by the Debt Service Fund with an apportionment of the Ad Valorem tax levy.
Combination Tax & Revenue Certificates of Obligation (CO Bonds)
Similar to General Obligation Bonds, Certificates of Obligation or CO Bonds may be secured by Ad Valorem taxes or other revenue sources and include a pledge of surplus net revenues of the City's dedicated revenue sources, in compliance with revenue source restrictions for use.
Secured by a pledge of revenues from a particular revenue source, not backed by the full faith and credit of the City, used primarily for large projects in alignment with revenue sources restrictions.
Used to finance the purchase of an asset over time, through lease payments that include principal and interest. Lease purchases can be financed through a private vendor.
Legal Debt Margin Information
There is no debt limit established by law. The limit is, therefore, governed by the City's ability to levy and collect taxes to service the outstanding indebtedness. The City's maximum legal tax rate established under its Charter is $2.25 per $100 assessed valuation. The 2020-21 tax rate was $.763323 per $100 assessed valuation.
At the start of the 2020-21 fiscal year, the anticipated assessed value of the City will total $5,455,879,419, resulting in a total debt limit of $122,757,286. The total net debt applicable to the limit, based on the current tax rate, is $41,645,982, resulting in a legal debt margin of $81,111,303.
Debt by Type: Debt categorized by type for the last five fiscal years.