KIMT News 3- According to a new report from the Iowa State Treasury, the state has accumulated more than $450 million in debt during the last fiscal year.
That is a 3 percent increase, the highest percentage increase since 2013, which brings the total state debt to $15.9 billion. The debt the report is referring to is the different ways local governments fund projects.
Mason City staff say the state has slowed the amount of money they are giving to city, county and school governments, which is forcing them to find other means of funding to build their projects and accumulating debt is one way they can do that. They say some of the more popular ways city entities will find funding is through bond issuing, rebate agreement and borrowing money from banks.
Those we spoke with say people need to get more involved with their elected officials.
“We elect all of these officials but then what we do is we let them go after that,” says Brad Barber, of Clear Lake. “They do their thing. Now we do have some level of trust with them, but we as citizens need to go to the city council meetings. We as citizens need to go to the capital more and understand what is going on in there.”