U.S. voters also elected $10.9 billion in local-government debt Tuesday

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 7 2012 1:42 p.m. MST

Ryan Newren waits patiently for his mother Jacoy as voters in Lehi wait in long lines to cast their votes Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012 at the Legacy Center.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Enlarge photo»

Our nation’s next president wasn’t the only thing elected last night.

So was $10.9 billion in local-government debt.

Voters in the U.S. passed at least $10.9 billion in local government bond issuances, according to Bloomberg. There was $37 billion in borrowings up for vote yesterday, which is 45-percent less than in 2008.

“There is a reluctance to commit to new ongoing spending given the uncertainty of revenue,” Tracy Gordon, a state and local-finance economist with The Brookings Institution, told Bloomberg. “Similarly, there is a hesitancy on the part of voters to incur debt when they are still recovering from the recession.”

Some of the projects approved by voters include $642 million in funding for sewer improvements in Dallas and $1.3 billion in highway construction in Arkansas, according to Bloomberg.

About 63 percent of the $307 billion in debt issued since Oct. 25 has been to refund higher-cost debt.

“That trend is going to continue as voters across the country continue to feel the need to keep debt at a low level,” John Loffredo, co-head of MacKay Municipal Managers in Princeton, New Jersey, told Bloomberg.

EMAIL: jferguson@desnews.com

TWITTER: @joeyferguson

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