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
  • 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
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

Publishing Entity:  Tennessee Division of Accounts

Truth in Accounting’s methodology is unique, analyzing all state assets and liabilities, including unreported pension and retirement health liabilities.

  • Tennessee has $15 billion assets available to pay the state's bills totaling $13 billion
  • The state has $2 billion in available assets after state debt is paid; $1,100 per tax payer
  • This TN Taxpayer Surplus is 3% of an average citizen's personal income of $39,324
  • Tennessee is among 9 "Sunshine States" with enough assets to cover their debt
  • Tennessee exceeded the 180 day goal to release its 2013 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). The state published its report 166 days after fiscal year end
  • Tennessee "Outbound Moves," 49% of total, rank UT 31st of 50 states