Financial State of the States

The numbers are on the side of conservatives when it comes to policy — yet, due to the political right’s failure in the information war — the facts don’t do us as much good as they could.

For the sixth consecutive year, Truth in Accounting (TIA) has completed a comprehensive review of the financial reports of all 50 states to provide citizens with a clear picture of their governments’ financial conditions. Despite an improvement in the economy and financial markets, the amount of bills accumulated by the states has not significantly decreased. States still have almost $1.3 trillion of unfunded debt, accumulated despite balanced budget requirements in 49 of the 50 states.

39 states have dug financial holes, thus creating a “Taxpayer Burden,” which is the amount each taxpayer would have to send to their state’s treasury in order for the state to be debt-free. If state budgets had been truly balanced, no Taxpayer Burden would exist.

Taxpayer Burden is driven by state governments’ use of out-dated accounting policies to calculate budgets and financial reports. States are not held to the same accounting standards as most businesses and publicly traded companies. Therefore, states do not use the proper tools to balance their budgets. In fact, every year many states go even deeper into debt. TIA has again identified the worst five “Sinkhole” states, those with the highest Taxpayer Burdens.

TIA has again identified the worst five “Sinkhole” states, those with the highest Taxpayer Burdens.

Read more: Truth in Accounting

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