transparency Debt at a Glance

DAAG - Harris County

Harris County

Pop. 4,698,619

% Change Population, 2009-2018

+16.5% Harris County +16.9% Texas

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Harris County was home to 4,698,619 Texans in 2018. Its residents had a median income of $57,791 in 2016.

The data on this page is provided as of the date indicated and may not reflect debt, population or other data as of any subsequent date. In addition, the debt is shown for the county only, and not for other political subdivisions that may have outstanding debt, taxing powers, and the same boundaries as the county. Debt of a controlled non-profit corporation is included as debt of its sponsoring county, even if non-recourse. See other explanations.

For more information on the types of debt, refer to our Debt Glossary.

Current Debt Obligations

Debt Outstanding Harris County, Texas as of August 31, 2018

the table lists the type of debt and amount
Type of Debt Amount
Tax Supported Debt $1,978,078,022  
Revenue Supported Debt $1,891,545,000  
Lease-Purchase Obligations $0 

Source: Texas Bond Review Board

CABs Outstanding for Harris County, as of August 31, 2018

CAB Principal Amount CAB Interest Amount CAB Maturity Amount
$36,774,505 $73,270,783 $102,120,144

Source: Texas Bond Review Board

Sales Tax Rate in Fiscal Year 2018

Property Tax Rate in Calendar Year 2018
(Per $100 Valuation)

How Harris County Compares

Tax-Supported Debt Outstanding for Counties of Similar Size, as of August 31, 2018

a list of counties of similar population and their debt
County Name Tax Supported Debt Outstanding Tax Supported Debt Outstanding Per Capita Population
Harris County   $1,978,078,022   $421   4,698,619  
Dallas County   $172,265,000   $65   2,728,148  
Tarrant County   $294,500,000   $141   2,084,931  
Bexar County   $1,683,565,000   $848   1,986,049  
Travis County   $705,136,179   $565   1,248,743  
Collin County   $319,710,000   $318   1,005,146  
Hidalgo County   $196,855,000   $227   865,939  
Denton County   $612,630,000   $713   859,064  
El Paso County   $172,234,000   $205   840,758  
Fort Bend County   $587,907,549   $746   787,858  

Source: Texas Bond Review Board, U.S. Census Bureau
Note: The table includes Harris County and nine counties with closest population numbers based on 2018 U.S. Census Bureau population data. Tax-supported debt does not include revenue debt and lease-purchase obligations. Some counties provide health care, transportation, drainage or other services directly, while others do so through separate hospital districts or authorities, toll road authorities, drainage districts or other political subdivisions. The comparison does not reflect debt of separate political subdivisions, even when they have the same boundaries as the counties.

Certificates of Obligation Issuances

Source: Texas Bond Review Board
Note: Amounts are estimates and have not been adjusted for inflation or population growth. The Bond Review Board has reconciled Certificates of Obligation issuances from 2003 through 2018.

To learn more about the finances of public pension plans that may operate in this jurisdiction, please visit our public pension search tool.

Tax-Supported Debt per Capita
changed by -53.1%
from 2009 to 2018.

Harris County Tax-Supported Debt Per Capita Outstanding at Fiscal Year End: 10-Year Trend

Sources: Texas Bond Review Board, U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics
Note: Reflects debt in 2018 dollars divided by estimated population in the relevant year. Some debt issued before 2008 may not be reflected.

Authorized But Unissued Tax-Supported Debt

After voters approve tax-supported debt for a local entity in an election, the entity applies to the Attorney General (OAG) to approve issuance before debt is issued. Typically, the entity does not apply for the OAG to approve the total debt package at once, but rather over time so that it can manage the projects and reduce interest expense. Authorized but unissued tax-supported debt totals are the remaining voter approved tax-supported debt that the entity has not issued yet and may be issued in the future.

list of authorized but unissued debt
Election Prop. Purpose Authorized Issued Unissued
6/2011   Prop. 1   Road   $190,000,000   $129,220,000   $60,780,000  
6/2011   Prop. 2   Park   $95,000,000   $68,000,000   $27,000,000  
6/2011   Prop. 4   Police Facilities   $80,000,000   $70,000,000   $10,000,000  
6/2011   Prop. 5   Justice Center   $70,000,000   $0   $70,000,000  
3/2011   Prop. 1   Road   $700,000,000   $0   $700,000,000  
3/2011   Prop. 2   Park   $60,000,000   $0   $60,000,000  
3/2011   Prop. 3   Animal Care   $24,000,000   $0   $24,000,000  

Source: Texas Bond Review Board
Note: Reflects authorized but unissued tax-supported debt as of August 31, 2018. Some debt authorized prior to 2003 but still unissued may not be reflected.

An Introduction to Understanding

Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports

When you’re ready to learn about a public entity’s fiscal health, you’ll find a great deal of information in comprehensive annual financial reports (CAFRs) and other yearly reports. Often posted online alongside other financial information, CAFRs report an entity’s accounting statements, debts and other key information for the past year.

But sometimes that information can be tricky to find – and tough to understand. Because of that, our office compiled some tips for locating an entity’s CAFRs and for understanding them. You’ll learn how all CAFRs have certain similarities and when and why different entities’ CAFRs will differ in key ways. Plus, we detail strategies for pinpointing the debt, expenditure and revenue information you need to hold a government entity accountable.

Note that the data in the following publications is presented as of the dates indicated in the publications and may not reflect debt, population or other data as of any subsequent date. For further or more current information, see the applicable entity’s web site or its most recent filings at Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®). The Comptroller does not control or guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or currency of any such site. When you access any such site, you will be leaving the Comptroller’s website.

Read our Guide to Understanding Comprehensive Annual Reports (CAFRs)

Download 2018 county debt data. (XLSX)