The key insight: Most rating agencies use metrics such as Debt Per Employed Person only from the issuing authority which gives only a partial picture on how much taxing capability each issuer has. We looked at diverse data sources such as Geographical & territorial roll ups, covenant structures, type of bonds & micro economic statistics to get the holistic picture i.e. the debt owed by townships and related agencies within a county and then rolled that back to the county level to see the total debt owed by a citizen living in a specific county.
Our summary report published at the Bond Buyer is here:https://www.bondbuyer.com/media/pdfs/GridLex.pdf
The blog post for Business Insider is here:http://www.businessinsider.com/new-jersey-debt-per-employed-person-2010-12