State Debt

JLBC’s FY 2013 State Debt Report

Total FY 2013 outstanding bond, lease-purchase and payments deferral balances were $9.77 billion, of which $1.17 billion was related to payments deferrals. Excluding the payment deferrals, the outstanding FY 2013 balance was $8.60 billion. This equates to a per capita amount of $1,298.

In comparison to the FY 2013 level of $8.60 billion, the outstanding FY 2004 balance was $4.82 billion. The growth was due to:

  1. The state’s use of long-term financing for the New School Facilities program
  2. An increase in Universities financing activity (both under their general authority and specifically authorized programs such as Lottery-backed issuances)
  3. Operating financing used to solve FY 2010 budget shortfall.


Of the total FY 2013 outstanding balance of $8.60 billion, the General Fund share was $3.38 billion. In FY 2013, the General Fund made debt services payments totaling $364 million, of which 45% was paid towards interest. This General Fund debt service amount represents both an increase in General Fund payments, along with a shift in the relative mix of payments (principal vs. interest), as the state has begun to make principal payments towards both the financing related to Operating shortfalls (building sale/leaseback and Lottery revenues bonds) and the Phoenix Convention Center.



constitution debt limit

Article 9, Section 5 of the Arizona Constitution limits our General Fund backed debt to $350,000. This limit has been interpreted as applying to debt secured only by General Fund revenues and does not apply to debt secured by non-General Fund revenues such as the bonds supported by transportation, lottery and University revenues. Arizona’s lease-purchase financing has also been viewed as not applying to this limit.