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General Obligation Debt Calculator

This tool helps cities and towns in Washington State identify their remaining general obligation (GO) debt capacity. At this time, it does not provide information for counties or special purpose districts.

MRSC recommends that all local governments calculate their available debt capacity each time they are considering debt issuance. We also recommend reviewing our General Obligation Debt Limits page for a more thorough explanation of your debt limitations.

How to Calculate Your City's Current Outstanding GO Debt

Your remaining debt capacity is equal to your total GO debt capacity minus the amount of debt already issued, plus certain net assets you have available for your debt service funds (also known as debt redemption or sinking funds). Therefore, you will need to know what your current outstanding general obligation debt balances are in order to determine the remaining capacity.

What to Include:

  • GO bonds and notes (whether or not they are voter-approved)
  • Lease/purchase contracts
  • Certificates of participation (such as the Officer of the State Treasurer – LOCAL program)
  • Lines of credit (to the extent that they are drawn upon)
  • Registered warrants issued the general fund or other tax supported funds.

What not to include:

  • Outstanding warrants or checks or accounts payable
  • Revenue debt
  • Special assessment debt
  • Interfund loans
  • Pension and other post employment benefit (OPEB) obligations
  • Pollution remediation liabilities
  • Compensated absences
  • Contingent liabilities

In the event that you do not readily have access to the current debt balances, you can obtain this information from Schedule 09 – Schedule of Liabilities in the annual finance report prepared each year for your entity. The most recent report must be used to obtain an accurate result from the debt calculator tool.

How to Use the Tool

Using the input fields in the top left, choose your city from the drop-down menu and input your current outstanding debt amounts for both voted and non-voted debt.

To Print

Click on the download button in the lower right corner and choose PDF. Choose your layout, paper size, and scaling but make sure the "content" section is marked as "This Dashboard." Click download and you will have the option of opening or saving the file.

Last Modified: July 12, 2017


This debt capacity tool is based on information provided by each agency which is included within the tool, as well as information from the Washington State Department of Revenue. The tool is intended to be informational. The information provided via the tool should not be used by agencies without verification from the agency’s bond counsel, legal counsel, and finance personnel. MRSC has made a good faith effort to provide the most current and reliable data available as it relates to each agency’s assessed valuation (AV). The outstanding debt is a calculation that must be developed with due diligence to assure accuracy of the debt calculator, and the information provided via this tool is not intended to supplant due diligence by your agency’s staff. MRSC cannot warrant the accuracy or reliability of the remaining debt capacity calculator, and MRSC shall not be liable for any reliance on the information contained within this tool.