HAWAII IS IN THE 48th WORST FINANCIAL POSITION OF ALL 50 STATES
From Truth in Accounting June 12, 2012
Hawaii has $20.3 billion worth of assets but most of these assets are not available to meet the state’s obligations. $13.6 billion of these assets is infrastructure like roads, bridges and parks which cannot realistically be used to pay bills. The use of $2.6 billion of the assets is also restricted by law or contract. Only $4 billion of the state’s assets are available to pay $19.9 billion of bills as they come due.
Hawaii statutes require the legislature to pass a balanced budget. One of the reasons Hawaii is in this precarious financial position is state officials use antiquated budgeting and accounting rules to report Hawaii’s financial condition. Since employee retirement benefits are not immediately payable in cash, the related compensation costs have been ignored when calculating balanced budgets. Additional problematic accounting methods include recording loan proceeds as revenues and delaying the payment of bills.
Almost $15.9 billion of state employees’ retirement and other costs have been pushed into the future. Each taxpayer’s share of the financial burden is $32,700.
To be knowledgeable participants in the state's budget process, citizens need to be provided with truthful and transparent financial information.
PDF Chart: Truth in Accounting
Also This Week: PEW: Hawaii $21B Short on Pension Funding
2011: Fourth in Nation: Hawaii State Debt is $25,000 per taxpayer