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

Published: Monday, Aug. 31 2015 4:58 a.m. MDT

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) 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)

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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