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LOS ANGELES –The on-going federal stalemates over cutting deficits and trying to raise revenues are taking their toll on the states, many of which are facing their own dire financial straits. The days of surplus state budgets, which was not really so very long ago, now seem as faded as a color photo left out in the sun for years.
States simply do not have money, with many facing millions if not billions in shortfalls. Borrowing, if possible, can provide short-term solutions but in reality states, like the Feds, have to find realistic ways to bolster their economies. Obviously reducing the exceedingly high unemployment rate will put people back to work resulting in tax revenues beginning to trickle in.
All this gloom has many cities spooked. Municipalities rely heavily on funding from states and if that money is dried up, cities and their residents, as well as public agencies such as fire and police departments, teachers and sanitation will, and are now, be hit hard. The housing bust also led to lower tax collections resulting in gaping holes in budgets.
The non-partisan State Budgets Solutions Project put together a list of the top 10 cities with tremendous debt and how it affects each state’s residents with the highest per capita debt. Here they are from number 1 to number 10:
1) Connecticut – per capita debt $5,402
2) Hawaii -$4,755
3) New Jersey – $4,217
4) North Dakota – $3,181
5) New Mexico -$3,144
6) California – $3,060
7) Massachusetts – $3,040
8) Delaware – $3,026
9) Rhode Island – $3,000
10) Oregon – $2,960
According to some analysts, states are in hock for about $4.2 trillion, mostly for pensions, employee healthcare and unemployment loans. But there is no disguising the fact that those above 10 states’ residents are making plenty of financial sacrifices as shown by their per capita debt.