Financial State of the States 2022

OCTOBER 24, 2022

This year's report found that 31 states did not have enough money to pay all of their bills.

City Combined Taxpayer Burden Report 2022

MAY 24, 2022

Did you know that many cities, such as Chicago and Los Angeles, do not include the financial information of their school districts and other underlying entities in their financial reports and budgets? The result is taxpayers are on the hook for far more debt than they know. To provide a more complete picture of the 10 most populous U.S. cities including their largest underlying government units, Truth in Accounting has released its annual City Combined Taxpayer Burden report.

Twelve Out of Fifteen California Cities Don’t Have Money to Pay their Bills According to Accounting Study

FEBRUARY 22, 2022 | CALIFORNIA POLICY CENTER | by Brandon Ristoff

Includes: "Truth in Accounting recently released their 2022 “Fiscal State of the Cities.” The report examines the balance sheets of the seventy-five largest U.S. cities, including fifteen California cities, which it analyzed using 'Full Accrual Calculations and Techniques. ... a dozen California cities are in the red. Sacramento, Santa Ana, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Anaheim have between $4,300 and $6,600 of tax burden per taxpayer."

California financial audit arrives a year late and raises flags about unemployment benefits paid

FEBRUARY 8, 2022 | REASON | by Marc Joffe

Includes: "California's 2020 annual comprehensive financial report took 583 days to produce. ... According to data from Truth in Accounting, the median U.S. state produced its 2020 annual comprehensive financial report 184 days after the end of its fiscal year. By contrast, California took 583 days, nearly 20 months, to file its annual comprehensive financial report for fiscal year 2020. "

Annual Comprehensive Financial Report 2020


Includes: "Basis for Disclaimer of Opinion on the Unemployment Programs Fund . . . The Employment Development Department has inadequate internal control over its accounting of money it received and spent related to unemployment benefits. As a result, the department was unable to provide complete and accurate accounting information supporting transfers from  … "

California budget surplus is big enough to give every resident $1,100 stimulus check, state lawmaker says

FEBRUARY 7, 2022 | KTLA-TV | by Tracy Bloom, Ashley Zavala

Includes: "As California mulls whether to possibly send another round of stimulus checks to deal with a massive projected budget surplus, one state lawmaker on Wednesday made the case for more tax rebates."

California’s Fiscal Outlook


Includes: "Despite the ongoing global pandemic and its disparate health and economic impacts on Californians, revenues are growing at historic rates and we estimate the state will have a $31 billion surplus ... " Sheila's note: I guess they don't consider the $107.5 billion unfunded pension liability and the $113.9 billion of unfunded retiree health liability "committments."

California in a league of its own for delinquent financial reporting

JANUARY 14, 2022 | THE BOND BUYER | by Keeley Webster

By Keeley Webster, includes “… ‘Boomer retirements could be a factor,’ said Marc Joffe, a senior analyst with the Reason Foundation. ‘But, whatever the excuse, it is totally unacceptable that the biggest entity in the municipal market is over nine months late in filing audited financial statements. ”

High pension risk in Lompoc affects the future of public projects citywide


By Ron Fink, includes “… The Santa Barbara County grand jury investigated the health of the CalPERS system; its conclusion wasn’t very optimistic for us taxpayers. … Should employees worry about receiving their retirement benefits? The short answer is no, since taxpayers subsidize their retirement fund from taxes collected to provide services, and more funds would be diverted from tangible improvements to CalPERS.” 

How high will California’s taxes go before there’s no one left to tax?

JANUARY 13, 2022 | REASON | by Joseph Bishop-Henchman, Andrew Wilford

By Joseph Bishop-Henchman and Andrew Wilford, includes “A proposed constitutional amendment, ACA 11, would accomplish the unlikely goal of making the taxes that California currently demands from its residents look restrained. ”

California’s new, centralized fiscal system will miss its target again

JANUARY 6, 2022 | CALIFORNIA STATE AUDITOR | by Michael Tilden

By Michael Tilden, includes “This report follows up on significant concerns raised in our previous assessments on the development and implementation of the Financial Information System for California (FI$Cal). … For the third consecutive year, the State will issue late financial statements, resulting in part from state agencies’ challenges in using FI$Cal. ”

California’s $1 billion accounting program delayed again, could affect state credit

JANUARY 6, 2022 | THE SACRAMENTO BEE | by Wes Venteicher

By Wes Venteicher, includes “The update would have helped the Controller’s Office compare FI$Cal data to data in its legacy system to help ensure accuracy as the office prepares the state’s annual comprehensive financial statements, according to the report. … Started in 2005, the project has been repeatedly delayed and costs have increased.”

DOL seeks to roll back protections against ESG


By Thomas Savidge, includes “… These problems have plagued the California Public Employees’ Retirement System … and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System … for the past two decades, leaving millions of dollars in foregone investments on the table because the funds chose to divest from funds such as firearms, tobacco and fossil fuels.” 

Biden helps unions attack California pension reform

DECEMBER 13, 2021 | CALMATTERS | by Dan Walters

Op-ed by Dan Walters, includes “However, public employee unions have opposed Brown’s reform plan from the onset, have tried to undo parts of it through litigation and are enlisting the federal government’s help in challenging the plan’s legality. … ”

City of Newport Beach urges greater sustainability in state pension fund


Includes “…  Prior to the recent discount rate change, Newport Beach had asked CalPERS to lower its discount rate to 6.5 percent or below, a more conservative number that could help further reduce future risk. … Newport Beach expects to eliminate its unfunded liability by 2030, thanks to an aggressive payment schedule. ”

Undermining pension reform

NOVEMBER 24, 2021 | CITY JOURNAL | by Steven Malanga

By Steven Malanga, includes “The Biden administration is trying to prohibit California from receiving billions of dollars in new federal aid because, the administration claims, the state’s 2013 Public Employee Pension Reform Act (PEPRA) denied workers the right to bargain for changes to their retirement benefits. ”

California public employee’s pension bill to go up after CalPERS lowers market expectations


By Madison Hirneisen, includes “… This expected reduction in the rate of return means that some employees will have to contribute more to their pension funds because the fund expects to earn less from its investment portfolio. … Bill Bergman, the director of research at Truth in Accounting, said the move by CalPERS to require increased contributions on the part of employees is a marginal solution to a much bigger problem. …”

CalSTRS expected to hit full funding five years ahead of schedule


Includes “The California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) is now expected to hit full funding in 2041, five years ahead of last year’s prediction of reaching that level in 2046 … The timeline shift is due to the unexpectedly high 27% return CalSTRS earned in the most recent year. … ”

Retirement fund giant Calpers votes to use leverage, more alternative assets

NOVEMBER 16, 2021 | THE WALL STREET JOURNAL | by Heather Gillers

By Heather Gillers, front-page WSJ snippet reads “The board of Calpers, the nation’s largest pension fund, voted to use borrowed money and alternative assets to meet its investment-return target.” Article includes “The move by the $495 billion California Public Employees’ Retirement System reflects the dimming prospects for safe publicly traded investments … ”

New study measures financial transparency among state governments

NOVEMBER 16, 2021


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