New Jerseyans are optimistic about their government’s finances. 20-year-old first full pension payment.
Public retirement system stock portfolio records. Truth in Accounting (TIA), a nonprofit think tank that investigates government financial reporting, released a shocking report.
The Truth in Accounting “Financial State of the States” report ranks New Jersey worst (TIA). A comprehensive state finance investigation indicated $43 billion available to pay $241 billion in bills.
$55 billion of bonds and other net liabilities, $80 billion of public employee and teacher pension plans, and $105 billion of unfunded health care benefits make up those expenses.
New Jersey has a $197.7 billion budget deficit for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021.
The greatest taxpayer burden in the nation is ,700.
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New Jersey was the only state to fall in the fiscal year 2021, remaining in the bottom five of TIA’s “Sinkhole States” for the 13th year. The “Sunshine States” had enough money to pay their debts, whereas the “Shady States” didn’t.
TIA and DU collaborate on Truth in Accounting. Its goal is to provide accurate and transparent government financial data to the public.
TIA’s grading scale gives any state government with a taxpayer burden greater than $20,000 an “F” for financial health, which New Jersey received.
Garden State woes continue. The analysis showed that federal COVID funds and retirement system asset values could worsen the state’s budgetary situation.
TIA estimated 50 state debt at $1.2 trillion. Unfunded pension and healthcare liabilities for public employees and teachers account for most of that debt.
Pension debt was $699 billion and OPEB, mostly retiree healthcare, was $665 billion in the fiscal year 2021.
According to the research, New Jersey had $79.8 billion in unfunded pension liabilities and $105.6 billion in retiree health care benefits at the conclusion of the fiscal year.
New Jersey’s pension plan assets rose in value, but the state’s net pension liabilities rose because it took on local government pension obligations. It increased taxpayer burdens.
The TIA study should wake up Garden State lawmakers and leaders.
Washington’s hefty COVID-19 aid has helped New Jersey edge away from financial ruin for years.
The governor and legislature should use this breathing room to critically analyze New Jersey’s chronically mismanaged budget’s burdensome taxes, revenues, and expenditures.
The state has the third-highest tax burden in the nation, and its annual budget has expanded over 140% over the previous 20 years while its economic activity (measured by gross state product) has climbed by less than 1% annually since the Great Recession. Taxes are pushing people and businesses out of New Jersey.
New Jersey needs a pragmatic and comprehensive long-term budgetary strategy backed by an administration and elected representatives who are not afraid to make politically painful decisions to finally get its finances in shape.
By ignoring their debt and overspending, Detroit and Atlantic City have been financially hollowed out. If our governor and legislature don’t change, the state will too.