News

2020 Financial State of the Cities

January 28, 2020

**To read the full report, please click here to download the PDF**

Click here to download the press release

On January 28, Truth in Accounting released its fourth annual Financial State of the Cities report, a comprehensive analysis of the fiscal health of the nation's 75 most populous cities based on fiscal year 2018 comprehensive annual financial reports. 

Cities have become more transparent over the last few years, thanks to the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles set by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board, which now require governments to disclose pension and other post-employment (OPEB) benefits on their balance sheets. If these benefits have not been fully funded, they are considered liabilities, or debt, because they represent money owed to government employees in their retirement.

This year, the study found that 63 cities do not have enough money to pay all of their bills, and in total, the cities have racked up $323 billion in municipal debt. The study ranks the cities according to their Taxpayer Burden or Taxpayer Surplus™, which is each taxpayer's share of city bills after available assets have been tapped. 

Here are the rankings (from best to worst): 

Click on the city’s name to learn more about it on Data-Z

1. Irvine Taxpayer Surplus: $4,100

2. Washington, D.C. Taxpayer Surplus: $3,500

3. Charlotte Taxpayer Surplus: $3,400

4. Fresno Taxpayer Surplus: $3,200

5. Plano Taxpayer Surplus: $2,800

6. Stockton Taxpayer Surplus: $2,600

7. Lincoln Taxpayer Surplus: $2,500

8. Aurora Taxpayer Surplus: $2,200

9. Arlington Taxpayer Surplus: $2,100

10. Tampa Taxpayer Surplus: $1,700

11. Raleigh Taxpayer Surplus: $1,400

12. Tulsa Taxpayer Surplus: $100

13. Corpus Christi Taxpayer Burden: $300

14. Oklahoma City Taxpayer Burden: $400

15. Long Beach Taxpayer Burden: $500

16. Greensboro Taxpayer Burden: $700

17. San Antonio Taxpayer Burden: $1,100

18. Wichita Taxpayer Burden: $1,200 

19. Louisville Taxpayer Burden: $1,300

20. Bakersfield Taxpayer Burden: $1,600

21. Fort Wayne Taxpayer Burden: $1,700

22. Minneapolis Taxpayer Burden: $1,900

23. Henderson Taxpayer Burden: $1,900

24. Las Vegas Taxpayer Burden: $2,100

25. Virginia Beach Taxpayer Burden: $2,100 

26. Colorado Springs Taxpayer Burden: $2,300

27. Chula Vista Taxpayer Burden: $2,300

28. Orlando Taxpayer Burden: $2,300

29. Saint Paul Taxpayer Burden: $2,300

30. Riverside Taxpayer Burden: $3,300

31. Austin Taxpayer Burden: $3,300

32. Indianapolis Taxpayer Burden: $3,500

33. Memphis Taxpayer Burden: $3,700

34. El Paso Taxpayer Burden: $3,900

35. Los Angeles Taxpayer Burden: $4,000

36. Toledo Taxpayer Burden: $4,100 

37. San Diego Taxpayer Burden: $4,500

38. Sacramento Taxpayer Burden: $4,600

39. Columbus Taxpayer Burden: $4,800 

40. Cleveland Taxpayer Burden: $5,100

41. Detroit Taxpayer Burden: $5,100

42. Mesa Taxpayer Burden: $5,300

43. Santa Ana Taxpayer Burden: $5,400

44. Seattle Taxpayer Burden: $5,400

45. Phoenix Taxpayer Burden: $5,500

46. Albuquerque Taxpayer Burden: $5,800

47. Anaheim Taxpayer Burden: $6,200

48. Denver Taxpayer Burden: $6,500

49. Omaha Taxpayer Burden: $7,100

50. Anchorage Taxpayer Burden: $7,800

51. Tucson Taxpayer Burden: $8,100

52. Jacksonville Taxpayer Burden: $8,500

53. Lexington Taxpayer Burden: $9,100 

54. Dallas Taxpayer Burden: $9,400

55. San Jose Taxpayer Burden: $9,400 

56. Kansas City, MO Taxpayer Burden: $9,800 

57. Atlanta Taxpayer Burden: $9,900 

58. Boston Taxpayer Burden: $10,200

59. Miami Taxpayer Burden: $10,600 

60. Houston Taxpayer Burden: $11,600

61. Fort Worth Taxpayer Burden: $12,300

62. Milwaukee Taxpayer Burden: $12,800

63. St. Louis Taxpayer Burden: $14,500 

64. Pittsburgh Taxpayer Burden: $15,600 

65. Cincinnati Taxpayer Burden: $15,600

66. Baltimore Taxpayer Burden: $16,000

67. San Francisco Taxpayer Burden: $17,000 

68. Nashville Taxpayer Burden: $18,400 

69. Portland Taxpayer Burden: $18,400 

70. Oakland Taxpayer Burden: $18,600 

71. New Orleans Taxpayer Burden: $18,800

72. Philadelphia Taxpayer Burden: $25,500 

73. Honolulu Taxpayer Burden: $26,400 

74. Chicago Taxpayer Burden: $37,100

75. New York City Taxpayer Burden: $63,100

 
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