By Mark Lisheron | Texas Watchdog
AUSTIN — Texas taxpayers were on the hook for $233.2 billion in debt in 2011, the cumulative result of local and state government spending.
Local spending, accounting for $192.7 billion of the total, has increased by more than 122 percent from $86.7 billion in 2001, according to “Your Money and Local Debt,” a new report by state Comptroller Susan Combs.
State debt, the remaining $40.5 billion, has grown by 134 percent from $17.3 billion during the same period.
Debt is rolled up by the state to finance transportation, university, housing, water and military projects. Cities, counties, school, hospital and water districts take on debt to pay for their projects.
Texas ranks fifth in the country in its combined state and local debt, $9,212 for every Texan behind New York, California, Illinois and Pennsylvania. The state’s per capita local debt, $7,983, is second in the country behind New York, the report says.