According to analysis by Truth in Accounting, Texas does not have enough assets available ($70.1 billion), to pay the state's bills, ($121.7 billion). The difference between assets and bills is $51.6 billion. That debt divided by the number of taxpayers reveals Texas's per-taxpayer burden of $7,400 in 2012.  Only eight states--Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Tennessee, Utah, Nebraska, and Wyoming--achieved a per-taxpayer surplus in 2012.

Texas beat 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 175 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 Texas’s assets and liabilities can be found in the Texas State of the State (2012).

Publishing Entity:  Texas Comptroller


  • Texas's per-taxpayer burden decreased to $7,400 in 2012, and the state's rank rose three spots to 24th.
  • With an average personal income of $42,638, Texas's taxpayer burden fell to 17.4% of a year's income, a decrease of three percentage points.
  • Outbound moves from Texas in 2012 were 47% of total moves, compared to inbound moves of 53%, meaning that the state attracted more people and businesses than it repelled.
  • Texas's unemployment rate was 6.8%, compared to a national average of 8.1% in 2012.
  • Texas's financial reports disclose only $5.9 billion of retirement liabilities, leaving $66.3 billion undisclosed, down from 2011 ($67.3 B).
  • Texas's 'Net Revenue' (total general revenue less total net expenses) was positive in 2012 and was negative in only one of the past eight years (2009). This amount, however, does not include changes in liabilities not fully disclosed such as pensions and retiree health insurance. Read more on 'Net Revenue'.
Truth in Accounting: In The News


We’ve been very busy the last few months providing our unique data findings to media across the country (and across the globe)!  Here’s a quick run-down of recent Truth in Accounting and State Data Lab references in the press...