Fiscal conservative watchdog Truth in Accounting released on May 2021 a list of the 10 most populated cities with the highest taxpayer burden. In its “City Combined Taxpayer Burden Report”, Truth in Accounting listed the criteria it used to determine the cities’ overall tax burdens:
This report takes into account these underlying government entities and provides residents and taxpayers in these cities with a more accurate and holistic view of their respective city’s finances. We only include underlying entities that city governments claim responsibility for in their annual financial reports. These underlying governments are essentially subsidiaries of the city and the majority of their debt falls on all city taxpayers. When the unfunded debt of these underlying government units is combined with the county, municipal, and state debt, city taxpayers are on the hook for much more than they think.
The following major cities had the highest tax burden per Truth in Accounting’s findings:
- Phoenix (-$10,400)
- San Antonio (-$19,200)
- Houston (-$24,400)
- Dallas (-$26,000)
- San Diego (-$34,100)
- San Jose (-$41,800)
- Philadelphia (-$45,300)
- Los Angeles (-$47,600)
- New York City (-$85,400)
- Chicago (-$126,600)
Overall, there’s a clear trend of fiscal mismanagement in major cities across America, as well as quality of life problems with regards to maintaining public order and keeping the traditional character of cities intact.
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The Wuhan virus pandemic has only exposed these flaws and has served as a wakeup-call to city dwellers about how uncomfortable city life can be. Coupled with inflation lurking around the corner, people living in cities will likely consider moving to suburbs and exurbs in order to lower their cost of living.
Truth in Accounting’s latest report further demonstrates why Americans should reconsider living in major cities and look to smaller cities and towns with more sober fiscal policies and sensible public safety agendas as alternatives. The beauty of America is that it does not have overly centralized cities and has plenty of other municipalities that Americans can go to if their current place of residence goes through tough times.