Miamidade Countys Debt Doubles Since 2004 Majority Is Interest
Written by Ashley Hopkins on May 19, 2011
By Ashley Hopkins
Miami-Dade’s debt has more than doubled since 2004, but the county stands to pay more in interest than in principal — of the $27.9 billion the county owes, less than half actually funded county projects.
According to a report by County Manager Alina Hudak, while the county has borrowed about $13.7 billion, it must fork over an additional $14.3 million in interest.
Debt has more than doubled since 2004, when the county owed $13.8 billion.
Of the $27.9 billion debt:
nNearly 45.8% stems from the Aviation Department, which has about $12.8 billion debt, up 86.9% from 2004, when the department owed $6.6 billion.
nNearly 12.1% stems from the Water & Sewer Department, which is about $3.4 billion in debt. This is a 21.4% increase over 2004, when the department owed $2.8 billion
nNearly 7.3% stems from the Transit Department, which has about $2.03 billion debt. In 2004 the department was debt free.
nNearly 6.01% stems from Miami-Dade’s General Obligation Bond program, which has cost the county about $1.7 billion. This is a 378.7% increase over 2004, when general obligation bonds carried a $351 million debt.
nNearly 2.5% stems from the Public Health Trust, which has about $683.9 million debt. This is a 160.3% increase over 2004, when the department owed $262.7 million.
nNearly .82% stems from the Solid Waste Department, which has about $230.1 million debt. This is a 7.23% increase over 2004, when the department owed $214.6 million.
nNearly 2.67% stems from the Seaport Department, which has about $260.5 million debt. This down 29.29% since 2004, when the department owed $368.4 million.
According to Ms. Hudak’s report, since 2004 major debt issuances have included the county’s $2.9 billion Building Better Communities program and the $17 billion People’s Transportation Plan, though not all of that debt has yet been issued. Bonds have been used to support capital improvement projects at more than 300 county locations, as well as Miami International Airport and the Port of Miami.
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