Financial Transparency Score 2024

APRIL 23, 2024

Truth in Accounting has once again created a transparency score for the financial reporting by state governments to encourage the publication of transparent and accurate government financial information.

Hot off the Press! The State Report is Out: How Did Your State Do???

DECEMBER 10, 2023

Now Available

Our annual report on state fiscal health. Debt among the states improved slightly. Going from $1.2 trillion down to $938.6 billion. 

What happened? 

How did your state do? Read the full report below.

Accounting is a methodology for measuring value. It's the process of identifying, measuring, and communicating economic information to enable well-informed assessments and choices for those who rely on the informationgood accounting matters!  


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.

Kelly’s budget allows early retirement of $586 million in debt, drops $600 million into reserve

JANUARY 13, 2022 | KANSAS REFLECTOR | by Tim Carpenter

By Tim Carpenter, includes “Adam Proffitt, the governor’s budget director, told the Legislature’s budget committee members the governor was intent on eliminating a bundle of accounting gimmicks added to the budget framework over the years to mask financial problems. … ”

New study measures financial transparency among state governments

NOVEMBER 16, 2021


Financial Transparency Score 2021

NOVEMBER 16, 2021

To encourage the publication of transparent and accurate government financial information, Truth in Accounting has created a transparency score for financial reporting by the states. 

Truth in Accounting highlights uncomfortable truths about Kansas pensions


By Ganon Evans, includes “… The COVID-19 pandemic is a perfect example of how an uncertain future could derail healthy pension payments. Methods to prepare for these uncertainties in future pension plans include stress testing at the state level and cost-sharing plans between employers and employees.”

Majority of state finances worsened during beginning of pandemic

SEPTEMBER 28, 2021


Financial State of the States 2021

SEPTEMBER 28, 2021

Truth in Accounting's twelfth annual Financial State of the States report, a nationwide analysis of the most recent state government financial information.

Kansas outperforms grim budget expectations, has highest ending balance on record


By Matthew Kelly, includes “The state of Kansas overcame bleak expectations to collect 9.3% more tax revenue than expected in the 2021 budget year, the Department of Revenue reported Friday. … The budget flexibility afforded by the high revenue intake is sure to stoke heated debate over the relative merits of slashing taxes and further bolstering public services.” 

Should Kansas’ experience with tax reform stop efforts for lower taxes in Iowa?

FEBRUARY 15, 2021 | DES MOINES REGISTER | by John Hendrickson, Jonathan Williams

Op-ed by John Hendrickson and Jonathan Williams, includes “… The Kansas tax reform, and innuendo surrounding it, has created a paralysis among some policymakers who fear that cutting tax rates will lead to budget shortfalls. However, a careful analysis of the Kansas tax reform story should reassure legislators pursuing tax rate reductions across the nation, since it was unsustainable spending growth that was the real driver of budget problems in Kansas.” 

Thirty-nine states ill-prepared for coronavirus pandemic

SEPTEMBER 22, 2020

The 2020 Financial State of the States report surveys the fiscal health of the 50 states prior to the coronavirus pandemic. This data is released today by Truth in Accounting (TIA), a think tank that analyzes government financial reporting.

Coronavirus, contracts and the Constitution

AUGUST 18, 2020 | WALL STREET JOURNAL | by David Rivkin, J. Michael Luttig

Plaintiff lawyers want insurance companies to absorb the cost to business of the Covid-19 pandemic—and they’ve had some early successes

State general revenue shortfall projections

JUNE 1, 2020 | by Bill Bergman, Sheila Weinberg

How large could the shortfall in state government general revenues be, amidst the coronavirus and related crises? 

County in rural Kansas is jailing people over unpaid medical debt


There is at least one issue a divided electorate can come together on this election year: A recent poll finds 90% of those surveyed agreed on the importance of making health care more affordable.

Tax Foundation, Kansas Chamber concerned with ‘malpractice’ by county appraisers


A new report produced by the Kansas Chamber and a Washington, D.C., think tank takes aim at county appraisers in Kansas who embrace “dark story theory” to escalate property values for higher tax collections.

Kansas tax outlook improving, but state still set to spend more than it receives

NOVEMBER 8, 2019 | THE WICHITA EAGLE | by Jonathan Shorman

After lawmakers repealed Brownback’s signature income tax cuts in 2017, Kansas’s cash reserves quickly swelled to $1.1 billion… He acknowledged the forecast does not take into account the possibility of future recession… Under current spending levels, Kansas will end the next fiscal year with a surplus of $722 million.

Kansas City has to ‘figure out something’ to fund ballooning pensions in tight budget

APRIL 29, 2019 | THE KANSAS CITY STAR | by Allison Kite

Kansas City’s next mayor will inherit a municipal budget stretched to cover a lengthening list of urgent needs.

Kansas governor tries to sell wary retirees on pensions plan


“Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly worked Monday to rescue a key budget proposal that would reduce Kansas' annual payments to its public pension system by trying to sell the plan to wary retired teachers and government workers. Kelly's plan faces widespread opposition among Republican lawmakers, who view it as her way of freeing up state funds for additional spending on public schools and government programs. … She insisted she isn't trying to free up money for new spending and said retirees have heard "a lot of misinformation." 

For state budgets, what a difference six months make

JUNE 15, 2018 | GOVERNING | by Liz Farmer

After two straight years of lackluster revenue growth, state finances are on the upswing thanks in large part to a stable economy and a one-time boost from December's federal tax overhaul.

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