Lbk. in More Debt Than Similar TX Cities

A new report shows Lubbock has the largest total debt compared to all other Texas cities of comparable size. But, the city says the deficit isn't as severe as it would seem.
by Victoria Price

LUBBOCK, TX -- $1,055,422,000 in debt. While that number may seem extraordinarily high, the City of Lubbock says it that doesn't tell the whole story.

"We have our own electric utility department, that the cities we're being compared to don't," says Mayor Glen Robertson. "And we have to understand that LP&L has $120-130 million in debt. So, it's not a good apples to apples comparison."

Lubbock's debt is the highest in the state for cities of our size, more than Amarillo, Plano, or Corpus Christi. Texastransparency.org puts us number one, both for total debt, and debt per capita.

"72-percent of our debt is across four funds: water, waste water, storm water and LP&L," according to Robertson. "So these are all revenue funds, revenue-backed debt. If this website did a comparison of taxpayer debt or property tax-backed debt, you'll find that we're probably at the lower end of the spectrum."

So, while you can't ignore that a billion is a big number, the Mayor says he feels much of that debt is from worthy investment.

"When you look at our debt, about 36-percent of it is just in the water departments. It's the construction of Lake Alan Henry, the dam, the water treatment plant," he says. "As much as I don't like that amount of debt, I'm really grateful, because we've got a good water supply. And there's a lot of cities that don't."

Click here to read the full Texas Transparency report.

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