State debt has dropped $2 billion since 2010
Florida has reduced state debt by $2 billion over the past two fiscal years, according to an annual report on state debt out this month.
The Florida Debt Affordability Report says the state has $26.2 billion in “direct debt,” which is supported by taxpayer dollars. That’s down from $27.7 billion last year and $28.2 billion in 2009, a ten year high.
Read the report
The current debt figure consist of $15 billion for higher education construction projects, $7.1 billion tied to transportation projects, and $2.5 billion in land purchases.
Gov. Rick Scott and lawmakers have put a priority on reducing the state’s debt burden while not upping revenues, a byproduct of that, however, is less money available for infrastructure spending (Education officials have noticed).
The state issued just $415 million in new debt in 2012, significantly lower than the $2 billion annual average over the past decade.
Other findings in the report include:
The state will pay $2.2 billion on debt service this year, which is 7.14 percent of the state’s available funds. The report says that number will fall below 7 percent, which is identifies as the “cap,” by the end of 2013.
Fiscal year 2012 ended with reserves at $2 billion, or 8.5 percent of general revenue. Rating agencies consider 5 percent adequate.
Reserves, which include unspent general revenue and the state’s ‘rainy day fund,’ reached a ten year high of $6.1 billion in 2006. The fund is expected to grow to $2.6 billion by the end of 2013.