Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Analysis: Cities hit by recession ask voters to approve more debt

Another article.  In some ways Houston is worse that some CA cities.

Houston's debt service is already 16.5 percent of total spending, more than double that of either Seattle or San Francisco. Houston's property tax rates are the lowest of the three. They have remained at $0.63875 per $100 of assessed value from fiscal 2009 to 2012.

Houston's debt service in proportion to spending had not gone up between 2007 and 2011, but Craig said "the fact that debt is relatively high suggests there is not a lot of room to fix the big problems to come."

Still, Moody's gives Houston the same rating as San Francisco: AA2, which is considered high-grade. One factor that helps Houston is its policy of limiting the average life of its bonds, currently to about 11 years.

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