Skip to comments.Cook taxpayers owe $108 billion, county Treasurer Pappas says: Greg Hinz [ Chicago, Ill County ]
Posted on 06/21/2011 1:56:04 PM PDT by NoLibZone
The average Chicago household now owes a staggering $63,525 to cover local government debt, according to Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas.
Suburbanites are deeply in the red, too, with the average household owing $32,901, according to the treasurer.
Among the biggest reasons: $25 billion in unfunded pension liability.
In comments after an appearance Tuesday before the Civic Federation, a watchdog group that has released somewhat similar numbers in recent years, Ms. Pappas said she was "stunned" to learn that county taxpayers on the whole owe more than $108 billion toward local debt.
(The total may be even worse. Click here for an update.)
The figures were derived from a recently passed debt disclosure law. Ms. Pappas said the numbers have never before been compiled in this fashion.
"This goes well beyond big cities," she said. "These fiscal problems permeate townships, villages, school districts, park districts, fire protection districts and more, and the taxpayers are on the hook."
Overall, she said, municipalities have $61 billion in debt. And educational districts, $20 billion. Cook County owes $18 billion, and various sanitary districts collectively owe $4.4 billion.
In some ways the problem is actually worse than it appears. Ms. Pappas' report does not include totals from 55 of the county's 553 local units of government, which failed to report their debt figures to her.
On pensions, only one-quarter of the Cook County government units involved have at least 80% of the assets on hand needed to pay expected retirement plans for public employees, she said. Most financial watchdogs say 80% or even 90% is appropriate.
State lawmakers last year adopted changes that will reduce pension liabilities over time, but only for new employees. A bill that would reduce benefits or increase payments for current workers failed to pass in the spring legislative session but may come up this fall.
Check out the report here.
Message to union-thug pensionees: "Unfunded" means "too bad, so sad"
Just because you dipped your hand in the taxpayer's pocket doesn't mean you are owed anything.
#10 Fort Worth...Unfunded liability: $2 billion Unfunded liability per household: $7,212 Solvency horizon: 2023
#9 Detroit...Unfunded liability: $6.4 billion Unfunded liability per household: $18,643 Solvency horizon: 2023
#8 Baltimore...Unfunded liability: $3.7 billion Unfunded liability per household: $15,420 Solvency horizon: 2022
#7 New York City...Unfunded liability: $122.2 billion Unfunded liability per household: $38,886 Solvency horizon: 2021
#6 Jacksonville...Unfunded liability: $4 billion Unfunded liability per household: $12,994 Solvency horizon: 2020
#5 St. Paul...Unfunded liability: $1.4 billion Unfunded liability per household: $13,686 Solvency horizon: 2020
#4 Cincinnati...Unfunded liability: $2 billion Unfunded liability per household: $15,681 Solvency horizon: 2020
#3 Boston...Unfunded liability: $7.5 billion Unfunded liability per household: $30,901 Solvency horizon: 2019
#2 Chicago...Unfunded liability: $44.8 billion Unfunded liability per household: $41,966 Solvency horizon: 2019
#1 Philadelphia..Unfunded liability: $9 billion Unfunded liability per household: $16,690 Solvency horizon: 2015
16 U.S. Cities That Could Face Bankruptcy in 2011
San Diego, Ca.
New York, NY
San Jose, Ca.
San Francisco, Ca.
Los Angeles, Ca.
Central Falls, RI
BONUS: Chicago, Il
nice job, ‘rats !
Chicago will become the Detroit of the next decade thanks to Obama and his cronies.
Time to get Mrs. O’ Leary’s cow out and burn it down again and then start over.
Mayor Rahm will fix it.
Mayor Rahm will also stop the marauding youth gangs who threaten to make it a very long hot summer in Chicago. I know people in Chicago who are now afraid to go to the beach. The beach was closed on Memorial Day, officially due to heat. The unspoken reason was due to gang violence there. I had to laugh that during a heat wave, that a cool beach by a cool lake was closed due to the heat. I wonder how many people believe that explanation from Rahm.
But if you move somewhere else, you are no longer liable for this debt!
If local governments defaulted on payments for everyone under 40 and started fresh, people would still have enough to live off of, and theywouof cance a very large chunk of debt.
Problem is’ the government for the sake of fairness would take every 401k for people under 40 working in the private sector.
It’s worth clicking the link to read some of the comments.
Taxes! We don’t pay no stinkin’ taxes! It’s the Chicago way.
These Blue States (I live in Tax-Mexifornia) love to create giant government to tax, regulate and overpay thousands of workers, for life, on the backs of business.
If these cities begin going BK, there will be chaos.
Are any of those cities in states that have Right-to-Work laws?
better have an exit plan and have it soon. I fear for my friend in CA.
Bail out coming@
Birmingham will be the first of the big cities to go BK. Some smaller ones have already tanked. A small town in Arkansas defaulted and couldn’t pay the pensions. A judge ordered the city to pay anyway. He didn’t tell them where to get the money.
You mean, me?
I live in the former paradise known as CA.
nope.a friend I have who still lives there in Fullerton.
but you can be my FRiend, too.
Yep, and look what this debt does to the saleability of homes in Cook County and the difficulty of finding suckers to move there.