Mandatory Local Debt Reporting
House Bill 1378, passed during the 2015 legislative session, requires every city to annually report various figures related to the city’s amount of debt. A city can satisfy the reporting requirement in one of two ways: (1) compile the requisite debt information in a self-created report that is posted to the city’s website; or (2) complete the state comptroller’s online debt reporting form and either: (a) upload it to the comptroller’s website; or (b) post to the city’s website.
The comptroller’s office recently updated its H.B. 1378 webpage to include a “Local Entity Debt Lookup” feature. As of this writing, 219 Texas cities have posted their debt reports on the comptroller’s website.
The local debt information required to be in the annual report, whether created by the city or by using the comptroller’s form, is as follows:
- The amount of all authorized debt obligations;
- The principal of all outstanding debt obligations;
- The principal of each outstanding debt obligation;
- The combined principal and interest required to pay all outstanding debt obligations on time and in full;
- The combined principal and interest required to pay each outstanding debt obligation on time and in full;
- The amounts required by Nos. 1-5 limited to authorized and outstanding debt obligations secured by property taxes, expressed as a total amount and per capita amount;
- The following for each debt obligation: (a) the issued and unissued amount; (b) the spent and unspent amount; (c) the maturity date; and (d) the stated purpose for which the debt obligation was authorized;
- The current credit rating given by any nationally recognized credit rating organization to debt obligations of the political subdivision; and
- Any other information that the political subdivision considers relevant or necessary to explain the values.
The City of Longview is proud to have posted this info for many years before it was required by the State of Texas.