Which game are you playing, and what's your population?
Riot took place around 1925 and I had a population around 25000.
This isn't the same City but is very similar:
Have you checked whether the rioting areas had adequately funded police coverage? Also, aura is a separate measure from land value. You can have high land value with low aura. But the source of your troubles is probably a lack of money.
I understand that debt can be scary, but learning to use your money well is an important skill. Because it's just a game, you can afford to make mistakes, and the worst that can happen is you have to restart.
You haven't specified what your goals in the game are, but from your screenshot, it looks like you're trying to build a nice-looking city where your sims have all their needs met. The reason I think so is because you're using water towers, which fit in with the aesthetics of the city at the cost of being an inefficient source of water. Your road layout and city plan are pleasing to the eye, and you've built up a neat lakeside neighbourhood. You have many civic services and what looks to be a robust public transit system that includes expensive subways.
The downsides, as you're probably keenly aware, are money problems and slow growth. You have to fiddle with taxes to make the budget work and to afford to expand your city and its services.
I've attached a screenshot of my current city, which hasn't gone as I'd hoped. I've been using this city to experiment with different layouts, which is why the city is an ugly mess. The roads don't make sense, and the zones are all jumbled. I began with flattened terrain and the hard difficulty level, where you start with a $10,000 loan. I kept taking out more loans to build the city and didn't start making a profit until the second or third year, which also coincided with a tax hike to about 10%. It took another couple of years before I could provide every civic service and I could gradually reduce taxes to their current level of 5% on all zones. The year is now 1921, the city has a population 250,000, collects about $120,000 a year in taxes , and has an annual budget surplus of $60,000. Traffic, believe it or not, is mostly under control, with very few tiles actually being congested. You'll notice that I still have three outstanding loans. Two were to expand the city beyond what the annual surplus could afford, and one was to rebuild sections that had been destroyed when an earthquake snaked its way through the city. (Earthquake resistance and retrofitting doesn't help when an earthquake creates a rift.)
So loans are nothing to fear. The fact that you start with a loan on the hard difficulty level is the developer's way of hinting that you can make money faster than you have to repay the loan. I would suggest starting a couple of cities on hard and seeing if you can make it to a healthy surplus without getting kicked out of office.
Once you lose your fear of loans, hopefully you will no longer need to mess with the tax rates to raise funds.
The key to understanding loans is that you must spend the money on something that makes money. If you borrow $10,000, your annual repayment is $1,200 is for ten years. As long as you can spend that $10,000 in such a way that you generate more than $1,200 in income, you will be able to service the loan, and any additional income you make is gravy.
Looking at your city, I see that you build a lot of parks--which is good. Your tax revenue will be hampered by your lack of growth because your land values won't go above medium until your neighbourhood is using significantly more land. It's a catch-22: to make money, you need to expand; to expand, you need to have money. It's a problem that's solved by loans. Your subway and rail network looks nice, but the cost is probably strangling your budget--not just the stations, but the subway tunnels probably cost you more in maintenance than all your roads and rails put together. It takes a rich city to afford a luxury transit system, and the subway is the king of transit systems. It might be the first mass transit option that becomes available, but because of the cost, it should be the last one you build.