STATE AND LOCAL

Three Texas cities have heaviest taxpayer burdens in US

With billions of dollars in “hidden debt,” three Texas cities have among the heaviest taxpayer burdens in the United States.

Dallas, Houston and San Antonio owe a combined $23 billion, according to Truth in Accounting, a think tank that rated government finances in the country’s biggest cities.The debt far surpasses the cities’ official figures, which TIA called outdated and incomplete.

The Chicago-based group said municipalities move large chunks of debt off their books to meet balanced-budget requirements.“This hidden debt is a result of outdated accounting methods used by city government officials, allowing a vast amount of pension and retirees’ health care benefits to be excluded from the cities’ financial reporting,” TIA found.

Dallas was the chief offender, shielding $6 billion of debt from its 2014 balance sheet. That works out to a per-capita taxpayer burden $17,900.

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