This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 29, 2007 11:23 AM. The previous post in this blog was Return of the Scone. The next post in this blog is How close would you like to get?. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, October 29, 2007

Portland Debt-O-Meter: New and improved!

Our recently added City of Portland Debt-O-Meter (a fixture to our upper left sidebar) has become one of our favorite toys ever, but it's had its drawbacks. First of all, it's been static -- the numbers haven't changed automatically to reflect debt and population trends. And second, the data on the meter has been old.

The police and fire unfunded pension liability figure that we've had posted was as of June 30, 2006, as was the city population figure. The long-term bonds and interim debt figure was more current; it went back only to October 3 of this year.

But we all know that the current numbers are higher than that. As we discussed in this post, over the last seven years the police and fire pension liability has been growing at a rate of 9.16 percent a year; the long-term bonds and interim financing, at a rate of 5.18 percent a year; and the population at a rate of 1.32 percent a year. Thus, the numbers on the meter have been too low.

That changed, as of this morning. Introducing the all-new, self-updating City of Portland Debt-O-Meter, now posted for your perusal! This thing looks at the time on your computer and brings you up-to-the-minute estimated tallies of all the relevant figures -- including the debt share of each Portland resident (almost $8,108 at this writing). It updates itself every 30 seconds, or you can just click below the meter, where indicated, to have it update instantly.

As new city financial statements and population figures come out, we'll update the baseline entries with new hard numbers. But in the meantime, these should be pretty good estimates of where we stand. I'm sure the City Hall apologists will wrack their brains trying to figure out a way to debunk these numbers. If they can come up with a convincing case to change them, we'll gladly do so.

But I doubt they will.

So everybody have fun with the new and improved City of Portland Debt-O-Meter!

Comments (5)

Jack: Let's not ignore today's BOREGONIAN "Headline" talking about the PDOT survey of other possible streetcar lines. (In addition to the "plans" already in motion!)

Make it stop!

Woohoo! It works :-)

Nicely integrated -- looks great!

Special thanks to the master of the internet.

More bonds coming - in case you weren't paying attention. From this weeks council agenda posted online:


Mayor Tom Potter

Office of Management and Finance – Financial Services
1313 Authorize mortgage revenue bonds and a mortgage credit certificate program (Ordinance)

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