The state of California is notorious for its huge debt – to the tune of $1.1 trillion, according to a CNBC article. But we all knew that, right? So what’s new with this article is the actual size of the debt in some counties in California.
How Much Debt Does the State of California Have?
In the state of California, there is a total of 11 million in outstanding debt. Of those, the county of Los Angeles owes the most at 814.6 million dollars. The next highest amount is owed by Sacramento County with 534.1 million dollars in debt.
According to the most recent data from the California State Controller, the state of California has approximately $1.6 trillion in debt.
What is the Debt Situation in My County?
The total debt of Santa Clara County, California is approaching $26 billion. The highest amount of debt for the county is $4.7 billion and it comes from general obligation bonds to fund projects like: community colleges, public works, capital improvements, and libraries. Debt also comes from agencies like the fire department and water district that issue bonds as well as retail banks that have issued bonds.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the total debt for the State of California is $900 billion. In November of 2015, the County of San Bernardino owed about $4 million.
Can I Afford to Live in a County with Big Debt?
The debt level of Madera, California is so high that it is currently the most in-debt county in the United States. Just under $2 billion of debt was accrued by the population between 2009-2017. The county’s total assets are only around $1 billion and its per capita income is just $36,000. There are many cities with higher populations, incomes and assets than Madera County, but they don’t owe nearly as much as this California county.
Santa Clara County has the largest public debt on record, owing $25 billion. The county is also an example of how big debts can impact society, with residents supporting a wide range of social services and struggling to find affordable housing.
On average, each Californian household in Alameda County owes $9,000 in debt. This is a combination of revolving charges and mortgages. It’s not just the amount of debt that is so large, it’s also the length of time many people are carrying their credit card balances from month to month.
The county of San Bernardino has a debt of $1.5 billion and is a going concern under Chapter 9’s resolution process because it can’t pay its debts. It also has a large deficit in general fund revenues and is out of compliance with the requirements for maintaining its general fund reserves, which it needs to be able to operate during a financial emergency.