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Iowa’s debt obligations at nearly $21 billion

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(The Center Square) – Iowa State Treasurer Roby Smith said Monday Iowa’s debt obligations rose 3.9.% from fiscal year 2022 to fiscal year 2023, the lowest increase in five years.

Iowa’s debt obligations are at $20.9 billion, with cities issuing the most debt at $7.8 billion, a 4.1% increase over the last fiscal year, according to a report. Debt obligations are “bonds, notes, capital leases, anticipatory warrants and loans,” according to Smith.

Five cities make up 71.1% of all debt obligations, according to Smith. Des Moines has the most with $724.8 million, followed by West De Moines with $329.8 million and Sioux City with $271.6 million.

The largest jump in debt obligation is in the “other” category, a 45.37% increase. State agencies dropped the most – 8.97% – a $41.3 million decrease, according to the report.

The Iowa Finance Authority, which offers housing and business loans to Iowa residents, has the most debt of any agency at $3.2 billion.

“The rise in interest rates seem to have slowed the rate of incurred debt by public units in Iowa,” Smith said in a statement. “We also saw many education groups decrease debt from Fiscal Year 2022 to 2023, including the Board of Regents, four of the five largest school districts and community colleges.”

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