July 13, 2024
America's largest cities drowning in debt, with Chicago leading the way, study finds
America’s 10 largest cities are drowning in municipal debt, with Chicago, pictured, leading the way, according to a new report from government watchdog Truth in Accounting.
America’s 10 largest cities are drowning in municipal debt, with Chicago, pictured, leading the way, according to a new report from government watchdog Truth in Accounting.

America’s 10 largest cities, largely Democrat strongholds, are drowning in municipal debt, according to a new report from government watchdog Truth in Accounting.

The report sought out “to determine what … overlapping financial entities mean for taxpayers’ bottom line.” Truth in Accounting said its purpose was to “calculate the various bills (and surpluses, when available) at the city government level and divide them out to determine a per-Taxpayer Burden.”

The two cities with the highest burden: Chicago and New York City; Chicago’s combined taxpayer burden: $119,110; New York City’s combined taxpayer burden: $85,600.

Chicago has been a hotbed for such burdens.

The Chicago City Council approved $2.4 billion in tax subsidies for two major developments in early April. Protesters gathered at City Hall chanting against the deals. Critics said the projects are in prosperous parts of Chicago and developers should pay for infrastructure improvements, not taxpayers.

  • Chicago’s combined Taxpayer Burden: $119,110
  • New York City’s combined Taxpayer Burden: $85,600
  • Los Angeles’ combined Taxpayer Burden: $56,390
  • Philadelphia’s combined Taxpayer Burden: $50,120
  • San Jose’s combined Taxpayer Burden: $43,120
  • San Diego’s combined Taxpayer Burden: $35,410
  • Dallas’ combined Taxpayer Burden: $33,490
  • Houston’s combined Taxpayer Burden: $22,940
  • San Antonio’s combined Taxpayer Burden: $16,660
  • Phoenix’s combined Taxpayer Burden: $13,290 ​​​​​​

Forbes reported that the city’s taxpayer burden is attached to unfunded retirement obligations amassed over of a number of years: $39 billion in retirement benefits have been promised; $28 billion in pension and $842.9 million in retiree health care benefits haven’t been funded.

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