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finances in the country’s biggest cities.The debt far surpasses the cities’ official figures, which TIA called outdated and incomplete.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move large chunks of debt off their books to meet balanced-budget requirements.“This hidden debt is a result of outdated accounting methods used by city government officials, allowing a vast amount of pension and retirees’ health care benefits to be excluded from the cities’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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