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.
Includes: “The Volcker Alliance, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, today released an Issue Paper on New York State’s $186.7 billion in bonds and other debts, including recommendations to improve transparency and oversight over the obligations of the state and its numerous public authorities and agencies. ... "
By Nick Gillespie and Regan Taylor, includes “I don't know about you, but when I hear the phrase the underfunding of schools, my head explodes. Not because I dislike kids or public schools; my two sons exclusively attended public schools. What gets my goat is the demonstrably false idea that schools are being starved for resources. … ”
By Nicolas Gregoris, includes “The title of ‘county executive’ may not be as sexy as ‘President of the United States,’ but if the past twenty-two months have taught us anything, it is that these local offices matter insofar as they can determine how ‘normal’ and free your day-to-day life is. … ”
Includes “New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and the state’s pension fund today announced the filing of shareholder proposals seeking an independent audit of companies’ practices related to racial equity. The proposals were filed at Chipotle Mexican Grill, Dollar General Corp., Dollar Tree, Inc. and Match Group … ”
Press release, includes “New York City forecasts a surplus of $965 million in the fiscal year ending in June 2022 (FY 2022), based largely on the receipt of $750 million in unrestricted federal aid, and projects outyear gaps to drop by nearly a third from earlier estimates, according to a report released today by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. … DiNapoli has identified risks that could increase city spending by $2.3 billion in FY 2023 … ”
By David Gura, includes “When Blockchain.com was looking for a new home for its U.S. headquarters, it decided to leave New York and move to downtown Miami. … Cryptocurrencies are seen by many as the future of finance, and Miami is aggressively angling to become the world's crypto capital … ”
By E.J. McMahon, includes “New York taxpayers have been hit with enormous increases in pension costs for state and local government employees over the past 20 years. … New York’s pension bomb had already exploded a dozen years ago when state officials belatedly started responding to the problem by scaling back pension entitlements for newly hired employees. ”
By Annie McDonough, includes “But while New York City may be getting a crypto-friendly leader in Adams – someone who can encourage companies to set up shop here and possibly set up a municipal digital wallet – the mayor has little authority on regulatory questions. The industry faces challenges in evangelizing the benefits of virtual currency – or even just blockchain – to lawmakers.”
By Rebecca Lewis and Sara Dorn, from the ‘don’t worry, we can just print that stuff’ department, includes “New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, flanked by state lawmakers and Rep. Jerry Nadler, announced a new program that will help that state's needy homeowners who fell behind on payments during the pandemic. ”
By Jerry Zremski, includes “President Biden's signature ‘Build Back Better’ plan would reinforce the social safety net – but it would also vastly expand a tax break that benefits America's wealthiest taxpayers. … ‘Build Back Better,’ as it currently stands, includes not only those safety net provisions but also a big tax break: an expansion of the state and local tax deduction that would, …”
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.
PRESS RELEASE - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Truth in Accounting's twelfth annual Financial State of the States report, a nationwide analysis of the most recent state government financial information.
By TIA intern Joshua Terry, whose last day is today (Thanks for all the great hard work, Josh!) includes “… Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, and Texas have smaller Taxpayer Burdens compared to New York, California, and Illinois. There certainly may be other factors at play here, as Texas isn't too far off of New York or even California with its Taxpayer Burden.”
By Shaniece Holmes-Brown, includes “Mayor Kathy Sheehan announced Wednesday that the city's unionized and non-union workers will receive extra pay from the pool of nearly $81 million the city is getting from the federal government's coronavirus bailout plan.”
Editorial, includes “The Buffalo Common Council wants to implement a system for tracking the deluge of federal money the city is pocketing as part of the federal American Rescue Plan. … People can get sticky fingers … How do you ensure that this torrent of money is spent in compliance with both federal law and local decisions on how it will be directed? The simple answer is by accounting. Someone needs to be watching – closely.”
By Alina Tugend, includes “Pensions are complicated enough without employers passing the buck onto someone else, but increasingly, that is what's happening. … When an insurer takes over the plan, that pension is no longer protected by federal law, but rather state law, which regulates insurance companies."
By Dave Fidlin (The Center Square), includes “… ‘If investment returns over the next few years average below the assumed (rate of return) … employer contributions will need to be sharply increased in just a few more years.’ On the whole, however, McMahon wrote a favorable review of DiNapoli’s plans …