Public Debt: How Does Florida Stack Up?

Original post date: June 20, 2013
Article by: Anonymous

Over at the Tax Foundation, a recent Monday Map highlights the debt per capita of each state. The good news is that Florida ranks fairly low on the list, coming in at #40; I’ll leave it to you to decide whether $2,294 is an acceptable figure. Rounding out the top ten are (from highest to lowest): Massachusetts, Alaska, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Delaware, New Hampshire, Hawaii, and Vermont. Tennessee takes the coveted bottom spot with $925 of debt per capita, while Massachusetts residents are each saddled with over $11,000 of debt.  Compared to much of the Northeast, Florida’s $2,294 makes it look stingy.

For a more local perspective on how public liabilities are being borne by residents, Florida Open Government has annual data on local debt service payments. For 2010, Collier ($346), Palm Beach ($140), and Alachua ($110) counties are the top three in per capita payments. At the city level, Palm Beach ($623), Sanibel ($555), and Kissimmee ($511) top the list.

My own home county, Pasco, comes in at $30 of debt per resident for 2010.  If you’re interested in how your town stacks up, Florida Open Government has the complete list of debt payments (and many other items) for each Florida city and county. In addition to annual rankings, you can also view trends in local government debt service payments going back to 1993.

About DeVoe Moore Center

The DeVoe L. Moore Center is conducts economic research and policy analysis focused on state and local policy issues and is located in the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy at Florida State University in Tallahassee. As an educational institution the DMC provides professional research experience to undergraduate and master’s students through an extensive program of internships and independent study, preparing them for a future in public policy, economic development, public sector accountability and entrepreneurship.
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