CalTax Research:
Beyond the Wall of Debt: Detailing California’s Debt and Unfunded Liabilities

California state and local governments face more than $443 billion in outstanding liabilities from borrowing, deferrals, and other unfunded financial obligations.

Using the most recent reports published by the state controller, state treasurer, the California Department of Finance and the Employment Development Department, CalTax tabulated state and local debt and unfunded liabilities to determine the size of the financial obligation that California faces.

CalTax found:

The total liabilities may be much higher than the amount tabulated by CalTax but information is not available to identify a significant amount of California’s other debt and unfunded liabilities. Our calculations do not account for interest accrued after the cited reports were issued, as much of this is dependent on market forces that dramatically affect how much California state and local governments owe on bonds and loans. Extended payment schedules may significantly increase the size of state and local debt. In addition, due to a lack of information available, our calculations do not incorporate any data on school districts’ outstanding debt from school bonds.

The following graphs and data table detail the components and magnitude of the debt and unfunded liabilities facing Californians.i

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Beyond the Wall of Debt
September 2013

Jurisdiction

Subject

Description

Amountii

Total

State

Borrowing and Deferrals

Deferred Payments to Schools and Community Colleges

$6,400,000,000

$298,673,100,432

Loans From Special Funds

$4,600,000,000

Unpaid Costs to Local Governments, Schools and Community Colleges for State Mandates

$4,900,000,000

Suspension of Proposition 98 Funding

$2,400,000,000

Deferred Medi-Cal Costs

$2,000,000,000

Deferral of State Payroll Costs From June to July

$700,000,000

Deferred Payments to CalPERSiii

$400,000,000

Borrowing From Transportation Funds (Proposition 42)

$300,000,000

Unemployment Insurance

Loan From the Federal Government

$8,671,409,432

Loans From State Disability Insurance Fund to Pay Interest on Federal Loaniv

$611,700,000

Bondsv

General Obligation Bonds

$73,060,000,000

Lease Revenue Bonds

$11,330,000,000

California Water Resources Development General Obligation Bonds

$360,000,000

Economic Recovery Bonds

$5,200,000,000

Pensionvi

Public Employees' Retirement Fund

$27,196,000,000

State Teachers' Retirement System

$63,840,000,000

University of California Retirement System

$6,308,991,000

Retiree Health Benefits

State Government Administered OPEB

$63,837,000,000

Trial Courts OPEB

$1,368,000,000

University of California OPEB

$15,190,000,000

Local School Bonds

Elementary

Unknownvii

High School

Unified

City

 

Bonds

General Obligation Bonds

$2,841,379,000

$81,637,547,000

Revenue Bonds

$27,420,946,000

Pension Obligation Bonds

$1,556,214,000

Certificates of Participation

$107,599,000

Other Special Debt - Includes Community Facility District Bonds, Mello-Roos Bonds and Marks-Roos Bonds

$4,300,000,000

Special Assessment
Act Bonds

1911 Improvement Act Bonds

$1,037,000

1915 Improvement Act Bonds

$2,193,628,000

Other Improvement Act Bonds

$195,265,000

Other

Lease Obligations (Principal and Interest)

$25,521,269,000

Construction Financed by State and/or Federal Governments

$2,183,873,000

Notes

$871,993,000

Loans

$482,119,000

Notes, Loans and Other Payables

$424,233,000

Pensions

$13,537,992,000

County

Bonds

General Obligation Bonds

$365,563,589

$48,166,608,943

Revenue Bonds

$1,287,646,363

Pension Obligation Bonds

$6,305,044,234

Special Assessment Act Bonds

$368,783,338

Improvement Districts Bonds

$746,008

Other

Federal Construction Loans

$4,432,077

State Construction Loans

$20,635,418

Other Long-Term Debt Schedule

$3,562,374,742

Lease Obligations

$10,138,222,174

Pensions

$26,113,161,000

Successors to Redevelopment Agencies

Bonds

Tax Allocation Bonds

$20,771,561

$30,255,065

Revenue Bonds

$1,261,680

Other

City/County Loans/Advances

$3,994,525

All Other Debt

$4,227,299

Special Districts

Bonds

General Obligation Bonds

$4,204,158

$1,650,479,842

Revenue Bonds

$51,376,755

Other

Certificates of Participation

$16,344,065

Federal Contracts

$423,490

State Contracts

$1,579,993

Time Warrants

$337,279

Miscellaneous

$6,369,102

Special Districts Pensions

$1,569,845,000

Other Unfunded Liabilities

Local Government OPEB

Unknownviii

School District Pensions

$2,566,000

$4,577,000

County of San Diego In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) Public Authority Pension Plan, the Housing Authority of the County of Tulare Defined Contribution Pension Plan, the Public Agency Retirement System (PARS) Participant Directed Investment Program Trust, the Public Agency Retirement System (PARS) Defined Benefit Plans, the Public Agency Retirement System (PARS) Defined Contribution Plan, the San Diego Housing Commission Money Purchase Pension Plan and the San Diego Housing Commission Pension Plan

$2,011,000

City and County of

San Francisco

Bonds

Revenue Bonds

$9,124,807,000

$12,366,592,000

General Obligation Bonds

$1,606,170,000

Lease Revenue Bonds

$274,467,000

Other

Certificates of Participation

$895,892,000

Loans

$13,878,000

Capital Leases

$26,033,000

Commercial Paper and Others

$381,284,000

State of California - Revolving Fund Loans

$36,898,000

Notes, Loans and Other Payables

$7,163,000

 

 

Total Debt and Unfunded Liabilities:

$442,529,160,281

 

Sources:

California Department of Finance, California State Budget 2013-14, June 27, 2013.ix

Employment Development Department, May 2013 Disability Insurance Fund Forecast.

United States Department of Labor: Employment & Training Administration, Trust Fund Loans: Outstanding Loans from the Federal Unemployment Account as of August 16, 2013.

California State Controller’s Office, Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, March 26, 2013; Cities Annual Report, September 11, 2012; Public Retirement Systems Annual Report, May 22, 2013; Counties Annual Report, August 1, 2012; Community Redevelopment Agencies Annual Report, May 1, 2012; Special Districts Annual Report,May 22, 2013.

California State Treasurer’s Office, Debt Affordability Report, October 2012.

City and County of San Francisco Controller’s Office, Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, June 30, 2012.

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September 27, 2013

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