Truth in Accounting has completed studies of municipalities and local governments. The reports, as well as accompanying documents can be found below.
Financial State of the Cities
Similar to the Financial State of the States report, Truth in Accounting analyzed the most populous US cities for their financial health.
City Combined Taxpayer Burden Report
This report analyzes the finances of each city, its county, state, and underlying government units. This study was necessary because the financial reports of cities, with the exception of New York City, do not include several underlying government units, such as school districts, transit agencies, housing authorities, etc.
Compare data for various cities, or see how data points interact within a specific city in our database.
Truth in Accounting has released an analysis of cities in the state of Michigan, including Detroit. Two page summaries for each of the 10 local governments can be found here.
More than $10 billion of promised retirement benefits were not reported on studied local governments' balance sheets, due to outdated accounting standards.
While most of these local governments appear to have positive financial positions, 20 have financial holes. The financial holes represent bills the local governments have accumulated beyond available assets. All of the 13 school districts studied have financial holes.
Cook County Study
For this project Truth in Accounting analyzed the financial condition of 518 primary taxing districts within Cook County, the second-most populous county in the United States and home to the City of Chicago. Data were derived from the most recent financial reports published on the Cook County Treasurer’s Web site on June 30, 2012.
The 518 taxing districts have a combined “financial burden” of almost $34 billion. Truth in Accounting determined the “financial burden” by subtracting liabilities the taxing districts have accumulated to date, including unfunded retirement liabilities, from the assets available to pay those liabilities.