State Treasurer of Iowa

Outstanding Debt Obligations Increase 2.9 Percent

February 14, 2019

DES MOINES, IA – State Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald reports that outstanding debt obligations for state and local governments in Iowa totaled $16.3 billion as of June 30, 2018. Overall, this represents an increase of 2.9% over last year, which is similar to last year’s increase.  All political subdivisions, instrumentalities and agencies of the state are required to disclose outstanding long-term obligations, including bonds, notes, capital leases and loans, to the state treasurer annually. “Over the last few years, we’ve seen slight increases in debt,” Fitzgerald explained. “Public units borrow money in order to pay for capital projects, such as public buildings, schools, and utility improvements. The 2.9% increase is likely due to financing normal infrastructure needs.”

The debt of Iowa cities continues to account for the largest share of outstanding debt at 37%. For the first time, debt held by cities surpassed the $6 billion mark, increasing by $197 million from 2017 to 2018.

School-issued debt held steady in fiscal 2018 at 23.5% of the total outstanding debt. Debt held by schools was $3.8 billion, an increase of $97 million from 2017.

“Iowa continues the trend of moderate increases in outstanding debt obligations. We make this information available to all Iowans by county so they can see the total debt and changes over the years in their own communities,” Fitzgerald stated. Visit the state treasurer’s office at and click ‘Outstanding Obligation Report’ under the ‘For Governments’ tab to view the report and additional information by a specific reporting entity.


FY 18

FY 17

$ Change

% Change






School Districts/AEAs





State Authorities





Board of Regents





State Agencies










Community Colleges
















« Back

© 2021 State Treasurer of Iowa. All rights reserved.