transparency Debt at a Glance

DAAG - Harris County

Harris County

Pop. 4,652,980

% Change Population, 2008-2017

+18.1% Harris County +16.9% Texas

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Harris County was home to 4,652,980 Texans in 2017. Its residents had a median income of $55,584 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, 2017

the table lists the type of debt and amount
Type of Debt Amount
Tax Supported Debt $2,063,934,505  
Revenue Supported Debt $1,601,750,000  
Lease-Purchase Obligations $0 

Source: Texas Bond Review Board

CABs Outstanding for Harris County, as of August 31, 2017

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 2017

Property Tax Rate in Calendar Year 2017
(Per $100 Valuation)

How Harris County Compares

Tax-Supported Debt Outstanding for Counties of Similar Size, as of August 31, 2017

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   $2,063,934,505   $444   4,652,980  
Dallas County   $199,545,000   $76   2,618,148  
Tarrant County   $318,245,000   $155   2,054,475  
Bexar County   $1,672,900,000   $854   1,958,578  
Travis County   $684,531,179   $558   1,226,698  
Collin County   $352,380,000   $363   969,603  
Hidalgo County   $211,290,000   $246   860,661  
El Paso County   $187,345,000   $223   840,410  
Denton County   $645,305,000   $772   836,210  
Fort Bend County   $558,740,000   $731   764,828  

Source: Texas Bond Review Board, U.S. Census Bureau
Note: The table includes Harris County and nine counties with closest population numbers based on 2017 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 2017.

Most Recent Bond Election

Harris County Bond Election

Approved Bonds

Election Proposition Purpose Amount
11/03/2015 Prop. 1   Road Improvements   $700,000,000  
11/03/2015 Prop. 2   Parks   $60,000,000  
11/03/2015 Prop. 3   Veterinary Public Health Adoption and Care Center   $24,000,000  
11/03/2015 Prop. 4   Flood Control   $64,000,000  
11/05/2013 Prop. 1   Jail Processing Center   $70,000,000  

Defeated Bonds

Election Proposition Purpose Amount
11/05/2013 Prop. 2   Convention Center   $217,000,000  

Source: Harris County
Note: Does not reflect authorized but unissued debt, if any, approved at earlier elections.

Proposed Bond Issuances

No data available.

Note: Reflects only referenda currently known and verified by the Comptroller's office at this time.

For a full list statewide, see the Upcoming Bond Election Roundup.

Tax-Supported Debt per Capita
changed by +0.0%
from 2008 to 2017.

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 2017 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
11/2015   Prop. 1   Road   $700,000,000   $0   $700,000,000  
11/2015   Prop. 2   Park   $60,000,000   $0   $60,000,000  
11/2015   Prop. 3   Animal Care   $24,000,000   $0   $24,000,000  
11/2013   Prop. 1   Jail   $70,000,000   $5,705,000   $64,295,000  
11/2007   Prop. 1   Road   $190,000,000   $129,220,000   $60,780,000  
11/2007   Prop. 2   Park   $95,000,000   $68,000,000   $27,000,000  
11/2007   Prop. 4   Police Facilities   $80,000,000   $70,000,000   $10,000,000  
11/2007   Prop. 5   Justice Center   $70,000,000   $0   $70,000,000  

Source: Texas Bond Review Board
Note: Reflects authorized but unissued tax-supported debt as of August 31, 2017. 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 2017 county debt data. (XLSX)

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