America’s Top Cities Swamped In Debt, Chicago Leads The Way

Taxpayers in America’s ten biggest cities face an average per taxpayer burden of $50,000 in debt incurred by the county, state and or “off-balance-sheet” transactions by city government entities, according to Truth in Accounting (TIA).

The taxpayer burden, TIA explains, is the amount residents would have to pay to cover all of a government’s debt. “When the unfunded debt of these underlying government units is combined with the county, municipal, and state debt, city taxpayers are on the hook for much more than they think,” according to TIA.

The cities are ranked from top to bottom, on net position, explained Bill Bergman, director of research for TIA. “And it’s on that basis that Chicago ranks dead last,” he said.

Chicago taxpayer burden equates to $119,110 in debt per taxpayer, a number that includes debt from Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and the state of Illinois. Bergmans said the most significant burdens on taxpayers is from CPS. He added, CPS has separate financial ledgers.

“As bad as the picture is for the city, you add a significantly higher debt load once you include the Chicago Public Schools,” he said.

The massive debt load could affect Chicago’s S&P Global Ratings, was warned several years ago that its rating could sink into junk unless it passes a budget that addresses the fiscal situation.

“Taxpayers are on the hook for the debts accrued by these underlying government entities, but you would not know it just by looking at the reported data for the city,” the report states.

Following Chicago, New York City’s combined Taxpayer Burden: $85,600; Los Angeles’ combined Taxpayer Burden: $56,390; Philadelphia’s combined Taxpayer Burden: $50,120.

“The debt facing school districts in Dallas, Houston and San Antonio don’t add nearly as much to the total debt burden facing taxpayers in those cities as most others of the largest 10 cities we studied,” Bergman added. “Still, one might have expected better overall financial conditions for those Texas cities in light of economic and demographic trends in the last decade.”

For these cities to pay off its debt, each taxpayer would need to fork over around $50,000 each. Zerohedge readers understand, 60% of millennials don’t have $500 in savings ahead of the next recession. So obviously this deadbeat generation that is expected to take over the workforce by 2024 won’t have the ability to bail out America’s deadbeat cities in the next downturn.

Which leaves us with the question of the day: Will the Federal Reserve bailout heavily indebted cities in the next crisis?

via zerohedge


  1. Very informative article. I expected Chicago to be dead last on the list, as I live in a nearby suburb of Chicago, and hear or read reports almost every day discussing the financial crisis affecting not only the city, but the entire
    state of Illinois and the state’s similar bad financial management and the resulting problems.

    What did surprise me was seeing that cities on the list were in both blue states and red states. I was expecting the entire list, or at least the lion’s
    share being cities in blue states, given that Democrats are the ones almost always linked to the prefix description of “tax-and-spend”. Reality shows that the list is fairly even in terms of red state vs. blue state cities. Also, the two states with 3 slots on the list are from both state color descriptions, one blue state (California) and one red state (Texas). I am glad I read the article and read information that made me more informed on this subject.

  2. Treason is a badge of honor for the Godless NAZI Commie liberal Racist Muslim Demoncrat Party & RINOs! The party of hate, hypocrisy, lies, deception,Fake News(Russian Collusion & Jussie M hoax)the list is endless!And the clueless minions that follow them!

  3. Not top cities run by just anyone, but TOP CITIES run by dim wits and sanctuary idiots. They canNOT understand the word BUDGET. So busy spending they forget that the illegals they all tend to shelter outnumber the tax payers every where the Sanctuaries reside and illegals aliens are not providers but dependents. And everyone of those cities is a declared sanctuary or leaning that way and I know all including Philadelphia are leaning into sanctuary cities and most if not all dim wits are in charge. Thus the reason that Trump is avocating changes so we stop the influx of welfare dependent illiterates like the socialist are advocating for. Cities full of these welfare sucking dependent hordes are already failing and run by socialist leaning dim wit idiots who are getting what they advocate for, a broke and in debt population. That should tell everyone that here socialism is just too expensive. And why should anyone bail out the fools who vote in idiots to run their cities?

    And what Dave failed to notice is the bulk of those cities ARE run by dim wits though they may be in a GOP favoring states. The state has very little to do with the cities in trouble. Phoenix is run by an idiot dim wit and has a republican governor and is as noted in the list of poor budget management. Everyone of these cities is dim wit controlled. So I stand by my post. You want to go broke in your city, county, state? Elect the dim wits, they are accomplished spenders and wasters and liars.

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