(TrueNorthReports.com) The nonpartisan Illinois-based Institute for Truth in Accounting has just come out with a glossy report entitled The Financial Health of the States. It focuses on the assets each state has to cover its obligations, as reported by the states for fiscal year 2009.
For that year, Vermont reported liabilities not related to capital assets of $5.1 billion, of which only $584 million came from state bond issues. But ITAís researchers identified $2.6 billion in additional liabilities, off the balance sheet. These are largely the result of unfunded pensions and retiree health benefits for the state employee and teacher retirement systems.
The stateís accountants may object to ITAís methodology, which showed Vermont to be the 18th weakest among the 50 states. But the ITA report does raise troubling questions.† Read more.