The Texas Comptroller’s office just released a report showing local government outstanding debt. Second on the list was San Antonio, and on a per capita basis, the Alamo City has more debt than any other Texas city.
According to the report, San Antonio has more than $9 billion in outstanding debt. That's second behind Houston in total outstanding debt, but on a per capita basis, it's more than any other Texas cities at $7,100.14.
Just hours after the state released the report, city officials were quick to respond and pointed out most of the Alamo City’s debt comes from CPS and SAWS, high-dollar operations owned by the city.
“If you compare that to Dallas or Houston, they don’t own the gas company, so they don’t have that kind of debt on their books,” said city chief financial officer Ben Gorzell.
For taxpayers like Robert Lepere, that answer isn’t good enough.
“I think maybe we ought to not be owning that stuff. Who is responsible for that? Who is responsible for getting us in debt?” Lepere said.
Other residents are equally concerned, but feel it’s out of their hands.
“What can we do about it? We can tell them to cut back on some of the stuff they do and I think it has come to their attention at that point, but still it hasn’t changed anything,” said another resident.
But city officials say nothing needs to change. Gorzell said the city’s bond rating is great and manages the debt well.
“This is debt we have to pay attention to, we have to manage and make sure it’s reasonable,” Gorzell said. “I think we do a good job managing our debt and our debt programs.”