Debt

How Much Does Louisiana Owe?

Total Long-Term Obligations


Louisiana's Long-Term Obligations include bonds issued for construction or repair of facilities known as General Obligation (GO) or Non-General Obligation bonds (Non-GO), pension benefits due state employees, and other general liabilities such as claims and litigation.

Did You Know Louisiana's Constitution Limits the Amount of the State's Debt?

The Constitution prohibits the issuance of Net State Tax Supported Debt (NSTSD), if the cost for servicing such outstanding debt exceeds 6% of the estimated revenues to be received by the state for each respective fiscal year as contained in the official forecast adopted by the Revenue Estimating Conference. NSTSD is a subset of debt reported in the state’s financial statement (CAFR). In Fiscal Year 2022, the cost of servicing NSTSD was $642 million or 4.79% of the estimated general fund and dedicated funds.

Louisiana's GO Bond Ratings By Credit Agency

AA-/Stable

Updated 2021

Aa3 Positive

Updated 2021

AA-/Stable

Updated 2021


Louisiana's Bond Types - GO, Non-GO, Revenue and Enterprise

Louisiana's General Obligation Bonds (GO) are backed by the State and used to construct or repair facilities such as ports, universities, parks, roads or schools.

Non-General Obligation Bonds (Non-GO) are also used for construction and repairs, but are subject to an appropriation of the Legislature.

Revenue Bonds are backed by dedicated taxes such as gasoline and fuel taxes which are used to finance the construction of highway and bridge projects.

Enterprise Bonds are also Non-General Obligation bonds paid from other sources and subject to appropriation.

The State Bond Commission, chaired by State Treasurer John M. Schroder reviews all State GO, Non-GO, Revenue and Enterprise Bonds. In 2021, the State's bonded debt decreased by $124.7 million, or -1.5% from the prior year.

Net State Tax Supported Debt (NSTSD)

Louisiana's NSTSD includes:

(1) General Obligation Bonds issued to finance capital outlay projects

(2) Revenue Debt issued to finance transportation projects

(3) Appropriation Dependent Debt issued by various entities and secured by annual appropriation of funds by the Legislature, and

(4) Self-Supporting Debt issued by various entities and secured by tolls and other revenues derived by the entity.

Total NSTSD decreased to 4.79% in 2022 from 5.52% in 2021.

Debt per Capita

Debt per Capita in Louisiana decreased by $5 from 2020 to 2021. This is a result of a $32.9 million decrease in outstanding principle and a slight population decline.

Debt Trends

  • In the Fiscal Year 2021, refinancings saved Louisiana $202 million in gross savings and $127 million in present value savings.
  • In Fiscal Year 2022, refinancings saved the state $118 million in gross savings and $93 million in present value savings.
  • The total principal and interest outstanding debt has decreased by $249 million since 2021.

Net Pension Liability By Retirement System


Louisiana is a participating employer in seven defined benefit plans:

Louisiana State Employees' Retirement System (LASERS), Louisiana State Police Retirement System (LSPRS), Teachers Retirement System of Louisiana (TRSL), Louisiana School Employees' Retirement System (LSERS), District Attorneys' Retirement System (DARS), Louisiana Clerks' of Court Retirement and Relief Fund (LCCRRF), and the Registrar of Voters Employees' Retirement System (ROVERS).

Louisiana's net pension liability is 100% of LSPRS and the state's proportional share of LASERS, TRSL, LSERS, DARS, LCCRRF, and ROVERS.

Post-Employment Benefit Obligations (OPEB)

In addition to pensions, the state provides heath and life insurance to retirees know as Post-employment Benefits (OPEB) of which there are two:

The Office of Group Benefits is a multiple employer defined benefit OPEB plan open to multiple state agencies.

The LSU Health Plan is a single employer OPEB plan open to employees of the LSU System, members of the State Senate or House of Representatives (including officers and staff), and the Legislative Budgetary Control Council.

How Much Debt Does Louisiana Have Per Citizen?

Per capita, Louisiana ranks 17th nationwide in the amount of net state tax supported debt, or $1,523 as determined by Moody's Investors Services. Includes debt supported by statewide taxes.

To view Louisiana's net state tax supported debt per citizen, by bond rating, and state ranking for the last ten years, click here: