ALEC: R.I. has third-highest bonded liabilities per capita in U.S.

RHODE ISLAND was reported to have the third highest bonded liabilities per capita in the nation by the conservative nonprofit American Legislation Exchange Council. / COURTESY AMERICAN LEGISLATIVE EXCHANGE COUNCIL
RHODE ISLAND was reported to have the third-highest total bonded liabilities per capita in the nation by the conservative nonprofit American Legislative Exchange Council. / COURTESY AMERICAN LEGISLATIVE EXCHANGE COUNCIL

PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island had the third-highest total bonded liabilities per capita in the nation, according to a report from the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative nonprofit organization that allows private-sector members to collaborate with senators on model bills and to draft legislation jointly, released Tuesday.

Rhode Island was reported to have $7,587.12 in combined bonded liabilities per capita, or $8 billion from 2018 to 2055.

The study broke debt obligations down into four categories: General obligation bond liabilities, governmental activity bond liabilities, business-type activity bond liabilities and component unit bond liabilities.

Rhode Island ranked No. 45 for lowest component unit bond liabilities per capita at $2,788.33, or $2.9 billion.

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The largest per capita liability type in the Ocean State was governmental activity bond liability at $3,171 per capita, ranking No. 2 for lowest in the nation and totaled $3.3 billion.

Rhode Island ranked No. 37 in the nation for lowest general obligation bond liability per capita at $1,320.33, a debt liability totaling $1.4 billion.

Rhode Island ranked No. 28 in the country for lowest business-type bond liability per capita at $307.29 for a total of $324.4 million.

It’s worth noting the state of Rhode Island cannot take on any debt – with some exceptions – exceeding $50,000 without the consent of voters.

Read more about Rhode Island’s debt obligations and upcoming bond referendum. 

For total bonded liabilities per capita in New England: New Hampshire ranked lowest at No. 22 with $2,697.27; Maine had the second-lowest per capita total bonded liability at $3,778.41; and Vermont had the third-lowest per capita total bonded liability at $6,032.50, followed by Massachusetts at No. 47 with $7,400.20, Rhode Island at No. 48 with $7,587.12 and Connecticut at No. 49 with $10,309.58.

The report also noted Rhode Island had the highest percent of debt service due beyond 10 years in the nation at 64 percent.

Wyoming had the lowest per capita total bonded liability in the nation at $111.93.

Chris Bergenheim is the PBN web editor.