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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

Report Finds Illinois Is Third For Highest Per-Taxpayer Debt Burden

Jenna Dooley

A report from Chicago-based nonprofit Truth in Accounting found taxpayers would have to pay more than $45,000 each to cover the state’s unfunded debts. 

The report examined the fiscal year before Illinois entered into the current budget impasse. Sheila Weinberg, the founder of Truth in Accounting, says things have only gotten worse because the state is racking up more debt without a budget.

Weinberg notes taxpayers may be tired of all the bad news, but says they need an accurate picture of the state’s situation.

“They were lulled into a false sense of security—didn’t really pay attention to this as it was getting bad. I hate to say it’s almost a good thing that they’re finally paying attention to this bad news, and that they’re getting the truthful numbers. So that they can be knowledgeable participants in how we’re going to get out of this mess.”

Illinois has the third highest per-taxpayer debt burden, after Connecticut and New Jersey.