According to analysis by Truth in Accounting, Illinois does not have enough assets available ($27.4 billion), to pay the state’s bills, ($196.6 billion). The difference, $169.2 billion, divided by the number of taxpayers in the state, is the per-taxpayer burden: $42,200 in 2012.  Only eight states--Alaska, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Tennessee, Nebraska, and Wyoming--achieved a per-taxpayer surplus in 2012. 

Illinois lagged far behind the 180 day goal time between the close of its fiscal year and release of its 2012 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), publishing the report 335 days after the fiscal year-end.  The timeliest states- Utah (111 days), Washington (138), and Michigan (151)- published their CAFRs well before the 180 day deadline. The worst state, New Mexico, took 426 days, over a year after fiscal year end, to publish its CAFR.

Truth in Accounting has a unique, comprehensive methodology to analyze all state assets and liabilities, including unreported pension and retirement health liabilities.  The result is shown as the per-taxpayer surplus or liability, the difference in each state’s assets and liabilities divided by the number of taxpayers in the state. 

More detail on Illinois’s assets and liabilities can be found in the Illinois State of the State (2012).

Publishing Entity:   Illinois Comptroller
Related Links:        Glencoe State of the Village 2011


  • Illinois is a Sinkhole State, one of the five worst states in its per-taxpayer burden for the last four years.
  • With an average personal income of $45,832, Illinois taxpayer burden grew to 92% of a year's income.
  • Illinois's financial reports disclose only $33.5 billion of retirement liabilities, leaving $106 billion undisclosed.
  • Illinois' per-taxpayer burden increased to $42,200 in 2012, an increase of close to 10%. The state's rank remained at 49th.
  • Outbound moves from Illinois in 2012 were 59.5% of total, reflecting business and citizen concerns about the state's economic health.
  • Illinois's 'Net Revenue' (total general revenue less total net expenses) has been negative in every year since 2007, and in seven of the past eight years. This number does not include changes in undisclosed liabilities such as pensions and other retirement obligations. According to the state's own numbers, Illinois repeatedly did not satisfy its budgetary duties. Read more on 'Net Revenue'.