Politics

Our Largest Cities, Many of Them Democrat Strongholds, Are Drowning in Municipal Debt

Report from government watchdog Truth in Accounting points to two locations with highest taxpayer burden: Chicago and NYC

Image Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images

America’s 10 largest cities, largely Democrat strongholds, are drowning in municipal debt, according to a new report from government watchdog Truth in Accounting.

The report sought out “to determine what … overlapping financial entities mean for taxpayers’ bottom line.”

Truth in Accounting said its purpose was to “calculate the various bills (and surpluses, when available) at the city government level and divide them out to determine a per-Taxpayer Burden.”

The two cities with the highest burden are Chicago and New York City.

Chicago’s combined taxpayer burden is $119,110 — while New York City’s combined taxpayer burden is $85,600.

Chicago has been a hotbed for such burdens.

Related: Rahm Is Not Calm About Chicago’s Smollett Problem

The Chicago City Council approved $2.4 billion in tax subsidies for two major developments in early April.

Protesters gathered at City Hall chanting against the deals.

Critics said the projects are in prosperous parts of Chicago and developers should pay for infrastructure improvements, not taxpayers.

  • Chicago’s combined taxpayer burden: $119,110
  • New York City’s combined taxpayer burden: $85,600
  • Los Angeles’ combined taxpayer burden: $56,390
  • Philadelphia’s combined taxpayer burden: $50,120
  • San Jose’s combined taxpayer burden: $43,120
  • San Diego’s combined taxpayer burden: $35,410
  • Dallas’ combined taxpayer burden: $33,490
  • Houston’s combined taxpayer burden: $22,940
  • San Antonio’s combined taxpayer burden: $16,660
  • Phoenix’s combined taxpayer burden: $13,290 ​​​​​​

Forbes reported that the city of Chicago’s taxpayer burden is attached to unfunded retirement obligations amassed over of a number of years: $39 billion in retirement benefits have been promised; and $28 billion in pension and $842.9 million in retiree health care benefits haven’t been funded.

Lower in debt were Los Angeles and Philadelphia:

  • Los Angeles’ combined taxpayer burden: $56,390
  • Philadelphia’s combined taxpayer burden: $50,120

The report questioned if cities’ annual financial reports “comprehensively track municipal accounts such as school districts, transit agencies, utility systems, etc.”

Annual financial reports “for a city [don’t] present the full picture of their fiscal position, and is deceptive to the public,” the report said.

The mission statement of Truth in Accounting, founded in 2002, is “to educate and empower citizens with understandable, reliable, and transparent government financial information.”

Frank Miles is a reporter and editor covering geopolitics, military, crime, technology and sports for FoxNews.com. This Fox News piece is used by permission.

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