2014 Data (Released 8/11/15)
Tennessee owns more than it owes. Truth in Accounting’s (TIA) thorough analysis of state finances (below) shows Tennessee has enough available assets to cover its debt.
- Taxpayer Burden is each taxpayer's share of state debt, after available assets are tapped
- TIA analyzes both state assets and liabilities, not merely pension debt
- Most state debt in the “Taxpayer Burden” is unpaid retirement promises
- Tennessee has the 4th best Taxpayer Surplus of all 50 states
- Retirement debt is essentially a state’s ‘credit card balance,’ showing unpaid retirement contributions from prior years
- Unfunded pensions leave future taxpayers with the bill for services they did not receive
- Tennessee hides retirement debt from public view – see Hidden Retirement Debt: TN vs US average
For a comprehensive look into the state’s financial position, see the Tennessee Financial State of the State
Link to TN CAFR: Tennessee Comprehensive Annual Financial Report
Truth in Accounting’s methodology is unique, analyzing all state assets and liabilities, including unreported pension and retirement health liabilities.