Watchdog Group Gives Illinois An F In Financial Health
Of course, come election time, you'll hear some incumbents trying to tell Illinois residents that the F stands for fabulous, fantastic, or just freaking awesome.
Fiscal watchdog TruthInAccounting.org isn't running for reelection, so they crunched the numbers for Illinois and gave the state an F grade in its latest Financial State of the States report. The report showed Illinois had just over $36 billion in assets available to pay bills totaling more than $272 billion, leaving the state needing $236 billion in additional assets to pay its bills.
Care To Guess What Your Share Of Illinois' Debt Might Be?
Come to think of it, you probably don't want to guess. If you do, you'll probably guess too low, which will make the numbers I'm about to share with you all the more painful to consider. It's such a large number, that I'll let IllinoisPolicy.org tell you how much:
Each Illinois taxpayer now owes a $57,000 share of that mounting debt, nearly double what it was just a dozen years ago in 2009. That means every Illinois taxpayer would have to send that much money to Springfield to eliminate the state’s debt burden on top of what he or she already pays just so the state could pay its bills. That amount represents a $5,000 increase from the fiscal year 2019 report despite Illinois receiving billions in federal relief money due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Illinois Is Not Alone In Getting A Bad Fiscal Report Card
There's no doubt that Illinois handles its finances with all the grace and skill of a participant in a dizzy bat race, but hey, misery loves company. Looking at the numbers posted by TruthInAccounting.org, you'll see that total debt among the 50 states amounted to $1.5 trillion at the end of the fiscal year 2020. The average taxpayer burden across the 50 states was $9,300 for fiscal year 2020, which is $2,000 worse than in 2019. Only 11 states had a taxpayer surplus for 2020.