Government debt has been very much in the news lately because of the impasse between Republicans in Congress and President Obama over the federal debt ceiling. Unlike the federal government, none of Loveland’s slightly more than $13 million of debt was ever spent on operating costs and all are secured with physical assets owned by the City.
Overall, Loveland has low debt levels. Total Loveland debt in 2014 is forecasted at $13,260,808, or $1,098 per resident. To make debt payments on this total debt, the City will spend $1,460,893 in 2014. The majority of this debt is associated with the City’s utility infrastructure, such as our water system, water towers, stormwater pipes, and sewer lines. A smaller portion of this debt is associated with infrastructure paid for from General Fund, such as the Loveland Safety Center, the Public Works Garage and recent improvements to Lever Park.
In 2014, the General Fund will pay $176,722 in debt payments for infrastructure, or 12% of our overall debt payments. To understand if a community like Loveland has high, low or average overall debt, the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) standard is to compare debt to assessed valuation. In 2014, Loveland’s overall debt burden is 4.74% of Loveland’s overall assessed valuation for all taxable property in the community.
So, the City’s overall debt burden is relatively low, General Fund annual debt payments are modest, and most of the City’s debt is associated with utility and roadway infrastructure, not the General Fund.