General Obligation Bonds and Certificates of Obligation are direct obligations of the County with the County’s full faith and credit pledged toward the payment of this debt.

Revenue Bonds are generally payable from the pledged revenue generated by the respective activity for which the bonds are issued.

In addition to bonded debt of the County, the Commissioner’s Court has established commercial paper programs. Commercial Paper is a general obligation secured by ad valorem taxes for the purpose of financing various short-term assets and temporary construction financing for certain long-term capital assets. The County has the following seven series of commercial paper programs:

Series Program Size Purpose for which notes are authorized for
A-1 $100 million Technology Improvements
B $40 million Parks and Libraries
C $260 million Road and Bridges
D $200 million Construction of public works, purchase of vehicles, equipment and machinery, materials and supplies, professional services and other various projects and purposes of the County
H $64 million Flood Control Projects
E-1 $200 million Toll Road Projects
E-2 $200 million Toll Road Projects

Harris County obligations secured by ad valorem taxes are the following:

  • Road Bonds
  • Permanent Improvement Bonds
  • Flood Control Bonds
  • Toll Road Tax & Subordinate Lien Bonds
  • Hotel Occupancy Tax Bonds
  • Commercial Paper Notes, Series A-1, B, C, D & H

Although Toll Road Tax & Subordinate Lien Bonds are secured by ad valorem taxes, the County’s policy and practice is to provide debt service payment for Toll Road Tax & Subordinate Lien Bonds from toll revenues. No ad valorem taxes to date have been collected to provide for such debt service payment.

Although Hotel Occupancy Tax Bonds are secured by ad valorem taxes, the County’s policy and practice is to provide debt service payment from hotel occupancy tax revenues. If, in any year, revenues from hotel occupancy tax are insufficient to pay debt service on the bonds, Commissioner’s Court will levy ad valorem taxes at a sufficient rate to pay debt service for that year.

Harris County obligations secured by revenues are the following:

  • Toll Road Senior Lien Revenue Bonds
  • Toll Road Commercial Paper Notes, Series E-1 & E-2

Harris County Commissioner’s Court sets tax rate for the following, but these are not Harris County obligations:

  • Port of Houston Bonds
  • Hospital District Certificates of Obligation