By Andrew Staub
The Pennsylvania Independent
HARRISBURG PA – Pennsylvania is famous for its potholes, but it has an even bigger sinkhole problem that could cost taxpayers way more than minor car repairs caused by pock-marked roads.
Truth in Accounting, an economic think tank based in Chicago, released its Fiscal Year 2013 State of the States Report last week. It determined Pennsylvania is a “sinkhole state,” meaning it’s “sinking in debt.”
While the Keystone State owns $38.9 billion in available assets, it owes more than $100 billion, the report says. That makes for $62 billion in obligations, which have been pushed toward the future.
To pay that debt off today, every taxpayer would have to pony up $14,500 — enough to send a Pennsylvania resident to a state university for two years, and leave him or her with some beer money too. It’s the 14th-worst figure in the country.
“One of the reasons Pennsylvania is in this precarious financial position is state officials use antiquated budgeting and accounting rules to report Pennsylvania’s financial condition,” the report says.
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- Pennsylvania Independent is a public interest journalism project dedicated to promoting open, transparent, and accountable state government. It reports on the activities of agencies, bureaucracies, and politicians in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.