September 20, 2015

Recommendations to Elected Officials:

Healthy accounting practices require reporting all debts, and accounting for expenses as they are incurred – not only when they are paid. Therefore politicians should:

  1. Determine the true debt of the state, including all post-employment benefit programs

  2. Strive for intergenerational equity, meaning that politicians must stop putting off expenses into the future, placing a larger debt onto incoming generations

  3. Retrieve the most accurate asset and liability values

  4. Provide state financial information to taxpayers in a more timely fashion

Recommendations to Citizens

  1. Demand that your elected officials take accountability for your state’s financial burden

  2. Encourage your politicians to truthfully and accurately report state financial conditions

  3. Be proactive, and learn about your state’s finances. You can view our resources on State Data Lab and read about your state’s financial condition to learn more

Why is FACT-based budgeting important?

FACT-based budgeting requires governments to include expenses in their budgets when they are incurred, regardless of when they are paid. FACT-based budgeting allows states to have complete knowledge of the financial health of the government. Fact-based budgeting also helps to ensure that future taxpayers are not left with the bill for services that they never received.

Truth Act

The Truth in Accounting Act would require governments to prepare their budgets using FACT-based budgeting.

Benefits include:

  • Knowing long-term effects of current decisions

  • Politicians would stop hiding costs and finances would be transparent

  • Accurate, timely information would be available to all

For more details, click here

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