Report: California’s Actual Debt At Least $848B; Could Pass $1.1T

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The combined debt of California’s state and local governments is at least $848 billion and could escalate past $1.1 trillion, according to a new report.

The California Public Policy Center – focused on the analysis of California’s financial information on the state and local government levels — based its findings on official reports from the offices of the state controller and treasurer.

READ: California Public Policy Center Report

Gov. Jerry Brown’s $27.8 billion “wall of debt” was only part of the state’s official debt that the report put at $132.6 billion.

Much of the state’s debt comes from general obligation bonds — funds for public works — totaling $73.1 billion, unemployment insurance loans totaling $10.9 billion, and lease-revenue bonds totaling $11.3 billion.

The debt of K-12 public school districts was estimated at $49.7 billion, city government debt was $68.1 billion, county government debt was $22.1 billion, redevelopment agencies and special districts was $110.4 billion, unfunded pension liabilities at 7.5 percent interest was $128.3 billion and unfunded retiree healthcare liability was $136.8 billion.

According to the report — at 5.5 percent interest — an additional $200 billion would be added to unfunded pension liability.

The total $848.4 billion state and local government debt is called a “low estimate” by the report.

Adding, California’s long-term debt acquired by K-12 schools, cities, counties, special districts and redevelopment agencies as well as unfunded pension liabilities and future retirement healthcare could balloon the debt to $1.13 trillion.

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