Today I read a story that I almost wish I could read every day. How great would it be to find out that local governments in Texas were told emphatically to step away from the cookie jar labeled “DEBT” and learn to either go without the shiny new toys or find reasonable ways to pay for them? That’s exactly what happened in Irving this week.
The City of Irving wants to go into debt to finance a new entertainment center, to the tune of $213.7 million. Standard & Poor’s told them “think again,” saying that such debt would harm their overall credit rating.
As of August 31, 2011, the Texas Bond Review Board shows that the City of Irving is already quite significantly in debt – over $880 million once you include outstanding interest. S&P says the city has traditionally been considered a good risk, because they’ve been good financial stewards, but the attempt to finance this latest scheme threatens their AAA rating.
Taxpayers, are you comfortable with your city considering such a hefty sum for an entertainment center, in this economy, with this knowledge in your hands? I certainly wouldn’t be. Irving taxpayers owe Standard & Poor’s a debt of gratitude for slapping their city’s hand away from the cookie jar.