Truth in Accounting is a non-partisan group that has been examining the financial health of states since 2002. Their mission statement: To educate and empower citizens with understandable, reliable, and transparent government financial information.
They analyze government accounting data from each of the 50 states to produce annual assessments of state financial information. They use proprietary methodology to cut through politicization and accounting tricks to show the true fiscal state of each state. They are expanding their efforts to provide truthful and transparent financial information about the federal government’s financial condition as well as individual states.
Here is their report on Georgia. Georgia dropped from 21st place in their 50 state study in 2012 to 28th place in 2013. For the full report for all 50 states click this link for the PDF.
No wonder Nathan Deal is touting his bought and paid for poll showing Georgia ranking 1st in business. Never mind this is impossible to quantify with any actual numbers. Forbes came out with their own list and ranked Virginia first so who do you want to believe?
Here are a few other statistics from Forbes for Georgia. But again, these type of metrics are very vague and are based purely on the judgement of the writers. Personally I would think unemployment rates, access to good schools and hospitals, a good quality of life would be of more importance than fewer business regulations compared to other states. Georgia ranked 4th when it came to giving corporations a free hand with regulations but 36th in quality of life.
- #24 in Business Costs
- #11 in Labor Supply
- #4 in Regulatory Environment
- #40 in Economic Climate
- #12 in Growth Prospects
- #36 in Quality of Life
Far more meaningful data that has numbers to quantify and back it up can be found here. Where Georgia Really Ranks with data on unemployment, education, per capita income, and the dubious honor of being the only state in the country to have three of the fastest shrinking cities to make the top 10 list.
- Georgia is a Sinkhole State and has the 28th worst per Taxpayer Burden
- Georgia has only $16 billion to pay the state’s bills totaling $29 billion
- To fill its $14 billion financial hole, each taxpayer would have to send $5,000 to the state
- The Georgia financial statements clearly report $2 billion of retirement liabilities, but in reality the state has more than $14 billion of unfunded retirement promises
- The Georgia Taxpayer Burden is 13% of an average citizen’s personal income of $38,179
- Outbound moves from Georgia were 48%, which usually means more people are moving into the state
For a comprehensive look into the state’s financial position, read the Georgia Financial State of the State
Link to GA CAFR: Georgia Comprehensive Annual Financial Report
Publishing Entity: Georgia State Accounting Office
Truth in Accounting’s methodology is unique, analyzing all state assets and liabilities, including unreported pension and retirement health liabilities.