The original 13 colonies have significant Taxpayer Burdens

The men and women who sailed to America in the 1600s in search of a new life would not be too proud of their former colonies today. The 13 original colonies have grown exponentially throughout the years. New York even has the largest populated city in the United States. But who has been paying for the development in these 13 states? Taxpayers. 

Independence Day is here once again and many will be celebrating the holiday. What many will not be celebrating is their share of state debt.  We break down each taxpayer’s share of state debt into a per-Taxpayer Burden. The states that were the original 13 colonies have a pretty hefty Taxpayer Burden compared to the 50-state average. In the 2018 Financial State of the States, New Jersey found itself ranked No. 50, or last, with a Taxpayer Burden of -$61,400. Other former colonies that found themselves in the bottom 10 positions of the Financial State of the States were Connecticut (No. 49), Massachusetts (No. 46), Delaware (No. 44), New York (No. 42), Vermont (No. 41), and Pennsylvania (No. 40). 

The older the state, the worse off it is because it has had more time to accumulate debt. The debt racked up by the original 13 colonies is largely caused by the respective states’ elected officials not funding the retirement benefits that were promised to the state employees. With this opaque accounting, citizens cannot be knowledgeable participants in our democracy.  READ MORE

Illinois ranks ahead of neighboring states in technology and science ranking

What could be better to boast about than a state’s great weather or nice cities? The answer: the state’s technology and science ranking. Illinois can now proudly show that it was ranked as the No. 15 best state in the Milken Institute's State Science and Technology Index in 2018.  READ MORE

San Francisco’s alarmingly high expenses

We recently analyzed the comprehensive annual financial reports (CAFRs) of the 75 most populous cities so you don’t have to, and the City of San Francisco released some pretty interesting results.  READ MORE

SDL chart showing best and worst states for retirement

Florida is still, unsurprisingly, the best state to retire in

In a shocking blow to the rest of the country, Florida once again is deemed the best state to retire in, as of 2019.  READ MORE

SDL chart showing the highway expenditures percentage among North Dakota, South Dakota, and Alaska

Which states are spending the most on highways?

The 50 states spent a total of $150 billion on public highways in 2017, and Alaska joined the Midwest in spending more than any other state.  READ MORE

Washington, D.C. holds the highest share of bachelor’s degrees in the country

Last week, the country was burdened with the shocking realization that millions in bribery money is being spent by the wealthiest of parents in what is being called the largest college admissions scandal in history. That’s a pretty huge number of college degrees that likely have been earned through money alone.  READ MORE

SDL chart showing the unfunded pension benefits for Illinois, New York, and New Jersey compared to the national average

Illinois in 1st place for most unfunded pension benefits

The title for Most Poorly Managed Pension Benefits is a highly sought after position among fiscally irresponsible states, and Illinois continues to be the reigning champion for more than a decade.  READ MORE

SDL chart showing the minimum wage for Illinois, New York, and California for 2017, 2018, 2019

Illinois joins New York and California in push to $15 minimum wage

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker recently signed a measure that will gradually hike the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2025.  READ MORE

SDL chart comparing the number of registered firearms in Texas to the 50 state average

How many guns does Texas have?

Answer: They have a lot. The lone star state had a total of 95,269 registered firearms in 2017 according to the U.S. Department of JusticeREAD MORE

SDL chart showing the unfunded pension benefits for New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago

Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York’s unfunded pensions benefits are getting better

The country’s three largest cities are getting a little better managing their immense unfunded pension benefits, according to our 2019 Financial State of the Cities.  READ MORE

Previous Charts >>