Financial State of the Cities 2024

FEBRUARY 15, 2024

At the end of the fiscal year 2022, 53 cities did not have enough money to pay all of their bills.

Financial State of the Cities 2023

FEBRUARY 7, 2023

This year's report highlights the volatility and risk surrounding pension plan assets and corresponding pension liabilities.

Report: Nashville among bottom 10 large cities for its financial health

FEBRUARY 2, 2022 | THE CENTER SQUARE | by Jon Styf

Includes: "Nashville ranked 68th out of the 75 largest cities in the U.S. in total debt per taxpayer, according to Truth in Accounting’s new Financial State of the Cities report. ... Nashville taxpayers have a burden of $19,800 per taxpayer, and Memphis had a burden of $4,800 per taxpayer.

How do you want Nashville to spend $142M in COVID relief money? Metro officials want to hear

FEBRUARY 2, 2022 | 90.3 WPLN NEWS | by Ambriehl Crutchfield

Includes: "Nashville has around $12.5 million left of its second round of federal COVID-19 relief money, which is known as American Relief funds or ARP. The city is expecting another $129.5 million this summer. ... The federal government emphasizes that this money is temporary and shouldn’t be used to create new programs or add-ons. "

Financial State of the Cities 2022

JANUARY 25, 2022

Truth in Accounting has released its sixth annual Financial State of the Cities report.

PRESS RELEASE: Majority of U.S. cities finances worsened during beginning of COVID-19 pandemic

JANUARY 24, 2022

Despite receiving federal assistance from the CARES Act and other COVID-19 related grants, the majority of cities’ finances worsened. Total debt among the 75 largest U.S. cities amounted to $357 billion at the end of the fiscal year 2020, which was $23.5 billion worse than the last fiscal year.

An epidemic of bad budgeting

AUGUST 23, 2021 | CITY JOURNAL | by Steven Malanga

By Steven Malanga, includes “Nashville’s budget woes predate the pandemic: the city began borrowing money to cover deficits after the Great Recession of 2008–09."

Are your property taxes too high?


By Charles Trost, includes “… In comparison with other cities Nashville residents pay relatively low property taxes. Those who have recently moved here from high tax states like California and Illinois know this. Indeed in many instances it may have been a principle factor in their decision to move here. ” 

The Music City meltdown

APRIL 29, 2021 | THE WALL STREET JOURNAL | by Steven Malanga

Op-ed by Steven Malanga, includes “… City leaders have used deficit financing to balance Nashville’s books and spent much of the city’s reserve funds. The Tennessee comptroller has threatened a state takeover, and even the Biden administration’s lavish stimulus isn’t enough to plug Nashville’s budget hole. Amid all this, angry local groups are trying to spur a special election to roll back a gigantic property tax increase.”

Nashville’s financial health earns it ‘sinkhole city’ designation

FEBRUARY 15, 2021 | JOHNSON CITY PRESS (TENNESSEE) | by Johnson City Press

Includes “Nashville recently was named a ‘Bottom 5 Sinkhole City’ by the nonpartisan think tank Truth in Accounting (TIA) in its fifth annual Financial State of the Cities report. … Nashville was among the bottom five of those 62 cities, earning it the ‘sinkhole’ distinction. The city ranked 71st out of the 75 cities examined and earned an F grade.”  

Nashville’s debt hits levels not seen in a decade

FEBRUARY 15, 2021 | TENNESSEAN | by Mike Reicher, Joey Garrison

By Mike Reicher and Joey Garrison, includes “… a recent report showed the city spent one out of every $10 of government funds to pay off debt last fiscal year. And this year’s budget may exceed that figure for the first time since at least 1993. … Moody’s gives Nashville the third highest credit rating available, something Briley likes to cite whenever the subject of Metro’s financial challenges arise.” 

Majority of U.S. cities ill-prepared for COVID-19 pandemic

JANUARY 26, 2021

The 2021 Financial State of the Cities (FSOC) surveys the fiscal health of the 75 largest municipalities in the United States. This data is released today by Truth in Accounting (TIA), a think tank that analyzes government financial reporting.

Financial State of the Cities 2021

JANUARY 26, 2021

Our fifth annual Financial State of the Cities report. This analysis surveys the fiscal health of the 75 most populated US cities prior to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Local governments weigh major tax hikes to plug coronavirus-induced shortfalls

JULY 20, 2020 | FOX NEWS | by Ronn Blitzer


State and local governments scrambling to raise money during the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic are looking to increased property taxes -- as well as wealth taxes and more -- to fill budget holes.

Tax hikes in a pandemic: Some states, cities say yes

JULY 17, 2020 | THE PEW CHARITABLE TRUSTS | by Elaine Povich

Nashville City Councilman Bob Mendes tried unsuccessfully for two years to get his booming city to raise property taxes to address its growing municipal needs.

Mayor Cooper says only answer to Nashville’s financial problems is a 32% tax increase

JUNE 2, 2020 | FOX 17 NASHVILLE (TENNESSEE) | by Dennis Ferrier

Mayor Cooper says the only answer to Nashville's financial problems is a 32% tax increase. But critics say the city’s crisis has nothing to do with natural disasters and everything to do with years of fiscal mismanagement.

For growing numbers of struggling U.S. cities, the downturn has arrived

MARCH 4, 2020 | THE WALL STREET JOURNAL | by Heather Gillers

Christopher Clark was elected mayor last year, pledging to seek business tax reductions and lower water bills. They were popular goals that seemed in reach given that city revenues had been rising almost every year since the recession.

Austin, Nashville rank at top of hottest US job markets


The two hottest U.S. job markets in 2019 were growing Southern state capitals with vibrant music scenes and an influx of technology jobs.

2020 Financial State of the Cities

JANUARY 28, 2020

Our fourth annual report on the financial condition of the nation's 75 largest cities. 

State comptroller says state won’t approve Metro budget until it is more balanced

NOVEMBER 14, 2019 | NASHVILLE FOX 17 NEWS (TENNESSEE) | by Bob Atkinson

Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury Justin Wilson had a stern message for the Metropolitan Government of Nashville: Balance the budget or face dire consequences.

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