Texas State Debt

Overview

Texas GO Ratings
- Moody's Aaa
- S&P AAA
- Fitch AAA
- Kroll AAA

Click here for history of State GO credit rating

With the exception of Tax Revenue Anticipation Notes, State Highway Fund Revenue Anticipation Notes, Permanent University Fund Issuances, and non-general obligation issuances by university systems that have an unenhanced long-term rating of at least AA, or its equivalent, the Texas Bond Review Board (BRB) is responsible for the approval of all state debt issues and lease purchases with an initial principal amount of greater than $250,000 or a term of longer than five years. In fiscal year 2020, the state’s total debt outstanding (including conduit debt) increased 4.2 percent to $62.44 billion compared to $59.90 billion in fiscal year 2019 and $56.83 billion in fiscal year 2018. As of fiscal year-end 2020, $18.01 billion (28.8 percent) of the state's $62.44 billion in total debt outstanding was backed by the state’s general obligation (GO) pledge, a decrease of $132.9 million (0.7 percent) from the $18.14 billion backed by the GO pledge at the end of fiscal year 2019.

Debt
Outstanding
- Fiscal Year 2020 -
General Obligation:
$18,005,828,000
Revenue Supported:
$44,433,813,238
Total Outstanding:
$62,439,641,238
Debt
Issued
- Fiscal Year 2020 -
General Obligation:
$3,655,150,000
Revenue Supported:
$8,768,789,710
Total Issued:
$12,423,939,710

Issuers of Texas Debt

Showing entries (filtered from total entries)

Unless otherwise stated, the data for each chart is as of the fiscal year stated above.

TIP: Click on the legend elements to focus the chart's display.

The most recent U.S. Census Bureau data for state debt outstanding shows Texas was the nation’s second most populous state and ranked seventh among the ten most populous states in terms of state debt per capita. This calculation does not include Texas local government debt outstanding. For more information about Texas’ state and local debt outstanding compared with other US states, see Chapter 1 of the Bond Review Board Annual Report.

Third Party Data Sources: United States Census Bureau, Population and Debt Outstanding

The above chart shows total state of Texas debt outstanding and includes the amounts that are classified as general obligation and revenue self-supporting debt as well as general obligation and revenue not self-supporting debt. Not self-supporting debt is included in the state’s Constitutional Debt Limit (CDL) calculation.

State debt is issued primarily for the purposes of transportation infrastructure (Texas Transportation Commission) and colleges and universities. The University of Texas System issues more than double the amount of debt than the next largest issuer, the Texas A&M University System. Water related debt (Texas Water Development Board) and housing related debt (Veteran's Land Board, Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, and Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation) account for another significant amount of state debt outstanding.

Click here to see a brief description of each issuer name.

Texas’ state debt is mostly issued as current interest bonds (CIBs) with principal and interest payments paid semi-annual to investors. Sometimes, however, capital appreciation bonds (CABs) (CABs) are utilized with principal and accreted interest payments paid to investors on the maturity date. Issuing CABs generally results in a higher debt service cost. Also, included in the chart is an illustration of the projected annual scheduled debt service owed in the future until the final maturity date of all debt outstanding.

Texas' total state debt per capita has increased over the years. Revenue self-supporting debt, which includes college and university revenue bonds, the State Highway Fund, and State Water Implementation Revenue Fund for Texas (SWIRFT) bonds, accounts for most state debt. The gradual increase in general obligation not self-supporting debt over the years can largely be attributed to the $3 billion authorization of Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) bonds and $5 billion of Highway Improvement GO (HIGO) Transportation bonds both approved by the voters at the November 2007 general election. The Texas voters authorized an additional $3 billion of CPRIT bonds at the November 2019 general election.

Third Party Data Sources: United States Census Bureau Population Division, Population

The rate of debt retirement measures the extent to which new debt capacity is created for future debt issuance. Credit rating agencies use the rate of debt retirement for not self-supporting debt as a measure of the state's debt capacity and have benchmarked a rate of 25 percent of the principal amount to be repaid by one-quarter of the debt’s life (Q1), 50 percent of the principal repaid halfway through the debt’s life (Q2), and 75 percent of the principal repaid by three-quarters of the debt’s life (Q3). All not self-supporting debt is included in the state’s Constitutional Debt Limit (CDL) calculation.

The rate of debt retirement measures the extent to which new debt capacity is created for future debt issuance. Credit rating agencies use the rate of debt retirement for self-supporting debt as a measure of the state's debt capacity and have benchmarked a rate of 25 percent of the principal amount to be repaid by one-quarter of the debt’s life (Q1), 50 percent of the principal repaid halfway through the debt’s life (Q2), and 75 percent of the principal repaid by three-quarters of the debt’s life (Q3). Self-supporting debt is not included in the state’s Constitutional Debt Limit (CDL) calculation.

The chart above represents unique bond counsel firms used by state debt issuers over the past five fiscal years. The size of each bar is determined by summing the total fees paid to each firm. Bond counsel firms that are designated as historically underutilized businesses (HUBs) are coded as such in the chart legend.

For more information about state bond issue costs, see Chapter 3 of the Bond Review Board Annual Report.

The chart above represents unique financial advisor firms used by state debt issuers over the past five fiscal years. The size of each bar is determined by summing the total fees paid to each firm. Financial advisor firms that are designated as historically underutilized businesses (HUBs) are coded as such in the chart legend.

The chart above represents the top 20 unique underwriter firms used by state debt issuers during the past five fiscal years. The total fees paid are determined by summing the management fee and total takedown fee paid to each underwriter firm. Underwriter firms that are designated as historically underutilized businesses (HUBs) are coded as such in the chart legend.

The chart above represents the rating agency fees paid by state debt issuers over the past five fiscal years. The size of each slice is determined by the sum of the fees paid to each rating agency by state debt issuers.