Taxpayers in America's ten biggest cities face an average per taxpayer burden of $50,000 in debt incurred by the county, state and or "off-balance-sheet" transactions by city government entities, according to Truth in Accounting (TIA).
The taxpayer burden, TIA explains, is the amount residents would have to pay to cover all of a government's debt. "When the unfunded debt of these underlying government units is combined with the county, municipal, and state debt, city taxpayers are on the hook for much more than they think," according to TIA.
The cities are ranked from top to bottom, on net position, explained Bill Bergman, director of research for TIA. "And it's on that basis that Chicago ranks dead last," he said.
Chicago taxpayer burden equates to $119,110 in debt per taxpayer, a number that includes debt from Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and the state of Illinois. Bergmans said the most significant burdens on taxpayers is from CPS. He added, CPS has separate financial ledgers.