Maine's Year-End Debt Profile - Fiscal Year 2005-2006

David G. Lemoine, State Treasurer

Published September 22, 2006

Tax-Supported Debt



General Obligation Bonds (GO's)

Debt secured by state's full faith, credit, and taxing power.

$467.55 million

Authorized but Unissued GO Bonds

Bonds authorized by voters, but not yet borrowed upon.

$97.14 million

Certificates of Participation (COP's)

Debt secured by state-issued lease payments.

$37.00 million

Maine Government Facilities Authority (MGFA)

Debt secured by the tax supported agency budgets.

$182.22 million

Capital Leases

State obligations under non-cancelable leasing arrangements.

$40.01 million


Actual and authorized tax-supported debt.

$823.92 million


Tax-Supported Constitutional Obligations



Unfunded Actuarial Liability (UAL) for the Maine State Retirement System

Pension funds for state employees and teachers. Anticipated expenses and revenues must be actuarially balanced by 2028.

$ 2.99 billion


Moral Obligation Debt



Moral Obligation Bonds

Bonds backed by the State's moral (but not legally enforceable) promise of payment. These bonds are issued and repaid by: Maine State Housing Authority, Maine Municipal Bond Bank, Maine Health and Higher Education Facilities Authority, Finance Authority of Maine, Maine Educational Loan Authority.

$ 3.56 billion


Short-term Financing


FY 06-07 Borrowing-to-date

Bond Anticipation Notes (BANs)

Short term promissory notes issued and repaid within a fiscal year to provide funds for bond projects. Drawn on the balance of authorized but unissued ($97.14 million, above.)

$40.07 million

Tax-Anticipation Notes (TANs) and Lines of Credit (LOC)

Short-term borrowings used to meet current obligations by ?bringing forward? tax revenues expected later in the fiscal year.



Bond ratings

Moody's (Aa3) / Fitch (AA) / S&P (AA-)


Low to Moderate Debt Burden

Maine's net tax-supported debt per capita is considered "low" at $634 per capita. The national average is $703. Maine's net tax-supported debt as a percentage of personal income is "low" at 2.2%. The national average is 2.4%. Maine's tax-supported debt burden is "moderate" when our UAL is included.


Debt Capacity

Maine has no legal debt ceiling. We may borrow whatever amount is agreed upon by 2/3 of both the House and Senate and approved by both the Governor and the voters. For several years the Maine Legislature has worked with an informal understanding that no more than 5% of annual general fund revenues should be allocated to pay debt service on general obligation bonds (5% rule).


5% Rule

The 2007 ceiling for new GO bonds under the 5% rule is between $130 and $300 million. This range reflects varying assumptions such as spending rates, interest rates, revenue forecasts, bond ratings, amortization structures and other variables.


Diminishing Debt Service and Expanding Borrowing Capacity under the 5% Rule

Diminishing Debt Service and Expaning Borrowing Capacity under the 5% Rule

View Maine's 2005 Debt Summary.