A new report from Truth in Accounting calls Illinois a financial "Sinkhole State" and says it has the second-worst taxpayer burden in the country.
That means that for Illinois to pay all of its debt right now, every taxpayer in the state would have to contribute $43,000 (which is 93 percent of an average Illionsan's annual salary!) to pay for them all. This burden has increased every year since 2009 in Illinois.
The report says that Illinois owes $204.1 billion in total debt. The state has $73.2 billion in assets, but only $28.4 billion of that is available to pay bills, according to Truth in Accounting. Another $48 billion is tied up in land or other restricted assets.
The report listed four other "Sinkhole States," including New Jersey and Hawaii, and five "Sunshine States," where the financial situation is fine, including Alaska and Wyoming.
It's no secret that Illinois is also having a hard time keeping new jobs numbers on par with the rest of the country as well. State Rep. David McSweeney (R-Barrington) says the state must make job creation a bigger priority. He said many Illinoisans are leaving the workforce after searching for jobs long enough that they have become discouraged and given up. To get job creation back on track in Illinois, McSweeney said, the state itself must fix its own budget and roll back both spending and taxes to encourage businesses to want to operate in Illinois.