According to a new “Financial State of States” report from Truth-in-Accounting (TIA), Connecticut on Wednesday had the dubious honor of overtaking New Jersey with the highest taxpayer burden among the 50 states.
Illinois, Massachusetts and Hawaii rank 48th, 47th, and 46th out of the nation’s 50 states, as calculated by the Chicago-based non-profit that tracks government spending and debt at the metropolitan, state, and federal levels.
Each Connecticut resident’s share of the nutmeg state’s total outstanding debt is $62,500, compared to $58,300 for New Jersey, $57,000 for Illinois, $38,100 for Massachusetts, and $37,000 for Hawaii. .
“Connecticut’s money to pay bills increased from $10 billion to more than $79.6 billion, mostly because state pensions and retirees’ health care plans’ actuaries determined that future state contributions would need to be increased. Because the projected future investment income will be lower than before,” according to the report.
The report said that despite being passed by Connecticut, New Jersey still faced a dire financial situation, as the state “did not have the money set aside to face any current or future crisis.” “
At the other end of the ranking, the five states with the best financial status were led by Alaska with a surplus per taxpayer of $55,100, North Dakota at $39,200, Wyoming with $19,500, Utah with $6,500 and South Dakota at $5,200. Surplus was registered with.
The report said Alaska had “a lot of money to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, yet it received federal aid.”
The report selected Utah for its financial management practices. “Utah has the best record among the 50 states in keeping spending less than revenue. In fact, Utah has done so every year since 2005, even during the Great Recession and now the start of a global pandemic. “
The states with the healthiest financial status are referred to by the TIA report as “Sunshine States”, while those at the bottom of the ranking are “sinkhole states”.
To determine its ranking, the state divides the number of taxpayers the state needs to pay its bills by to calculate the TIA comparison data. The highest rank is given to the states with the funds available after all bills are paid.
States’ overall financials remained mostly negative in 2020, despite the federal government providing massive amounts of money to help state officials combat the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed more than 660,000 Americans so far . The disease started from China and reached the US in January 2020.
“At the end of FY 2020, 39 states did not have enough money to pay all their bills. This means that in order to balance the budget – as required by law in 49 states – elected officials do not include the actual costs to the government in their budget calculations and pass on the costs to future taxpayers. stated in the report.
“State governments, in general, did not have enough money to pay all their bills. The total debt of 50 states was $1.5 trillion. Our analysis does not include debt related to capital assets,” the report continued.
Like the federal government, which faces more than $100 trillion in unfunded pensions and other mandatory benefits, state pension costs are rising rapidly.
“Most states’ debt came from nonfinancial retirement benefit promises such as pensions and retired health care liabilities. For 2020, pension debt stood at $926.3 billion, and other post-employment benefits (OPEBs), primarily retired health care, totaled $926.3 billion. $638.7 billion,” the report calculated.
TIA President Sheila Weinberg told The Epoch Times on Wednesday that “if the federal government hadn’t provided relief to the states during the current crisis, things would have been much worse,” but she is concerned, “would the states have to pay off a The institution to whom they have to print or borrow money to give them?”
Some of the states that received the most federal aid, notably including California, “are now declaring arrears, even though they have billions of dollars in outstanding bills. California doesn’t have the most debt, over $200 billion, “He said.
Weinberg condemned the consequences of state officials misrepresenting the actual financial position of their jurisdiction, saying, “It is horrifying that citizens cannot knowingly participate in their state’s tax and spending policies because they have to be truthful. Our representative form of government is being harmed because people vote for elected officials on the basis of wrong numbers and assuming that the current elected officials are living within the means of the state.”
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times