Institute for Truth in Accounting finds Florida can’t pay its bills!

According to analysis by the Institute for Truth in Accounting (ITA), Florida does not have enough assets available ($59 billion), to pay the state’s bills, ($74 billion). The difference between assets and bills is $15 billion. That debt divided by the number of taxpayers reveals Florida’s per-taxpayer burden of $2,500 in 2012.  Only seven states–Alaska, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Nebraska, and Wyoming–achieved a per-taxpayer surplus in 2012.

“Florida lagged behind the 180 day goal time between the close of its fiscal year and release of its 2012 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), publishing the report 221 days after the fiscal year-end,” according to ITA.


Florida’s Bills Exceed Its Assets:

  • Assets *$179.24
  • Less: Capital Assets *$94.96
  • Restricted Assets *$24.80
  • Assets Available to Pay Bills *$59.48
  • Less: Bills *$74.29
  • Money Needed to Pay Bills *$14.81
  • Each Taxpayer’s Burden$2,500.00

The Bills Florida has Accumulated:

  • State Bonds *$39.48
  • Other Liabilities *$34.18
  • Less: Debt Related to Capital Assets *$12.75
  • Unfunded Pension Benefits *$6.80
  • Unfunded Retirees’ Health Care Benefits *$6.59
  • Bills *$74.29

* Figures in billions

More detail on Florida’s assets and liabilities can be found in the Florida State of the State (2011). Link to FL CAFR: Florida Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. Publishing Entity:  Florida Chief Financial Officer. According to the ITA:

  • Florida’s per-taxpayer burden shrank to $2,500 in 2012, and the state’s rank remained 14th.
  • With an average personal income of $40,344, Florida’s taxpayer burden shrank marginally to 6.2% of a year’s income.
  • Florida’s unemployment rate was 8.6%, compared to a national average of 8.1% in 2012.
  • Outbound moves from Florida in 2012 were 45.3% of total moves, compared to inbound moves of 54.7%, meaning that the state attracted more people and businesses than the number that left.
  • Florida’s financial reports disclose only $1 billion of retirement liabilities, leaving $13.3 billion undisclosed.
  • Florida’s ‘Net Revenue’ (total general revenue less total net expenses) was positive in 2012 and was negative in only one of the past seven years (2009). This amount, however, does not include changes in liabilities not fully disclosed such as pensions and retiree health insurance. Read more on ‘Net Revenue‘.


The Institute for Truth in Accounting has a unique, comprehensive methodology to analyze all state assets and liabilities, including unreported pension and retirement health liabilities.  The result is shown as the per-taxpayer surplus or liability, the difference in each state’s assets and liabilities divided by the number of taxpayers in the state.