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Taxpayer burden shows why Colorado Springs is fiscally conservative

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Colorado Springs earns its fiscally conservative reputation, with the 15th lowest taxpayer burden among the country’s 50 most populous cities, according to a new report by the nonprofit Truth in Accounting (TIA).

If every taxpayer had to pony up a share to cover the city’s debt, each tab would be $2,800, according to the report “Financial State of Cities, by academics and corporate and government accountants. You could buy a 1993 Volkswagen Jetta in Denver for that.

“While that figure is certainly troubling, Colorado Springs ranks favorably compared with the other 49 cities we looked at; for example, New York City has a taxpayer burden of $61,000,” said Sheila Weinberg, founder and CEO of Truth in Accounting and a graduate of the University of Denver.

Denver came in at 21st, with $4,300 per person, which could theoretically buy each city resident a 1997 Ford Mustang convertible in Greeley.

TIA found New York City, Chicago and Philadelphia have the highest taxpayer burdens — New York City at $61,000, Chicago at $44,000 and Philadelphia at $27,500.

Charlotte, N.C., taxpayers enjoy a surplus of $3,300. Fresno, Calif., was next, with $2,100 per person in revenue over debt, followed by Raleigh, N.C., at $1,100.

“Taxpayers expect elected officials to make responsible financial decisions and report truthful financial data, but these numbers don’t lie,” Weinberg said. “Taxpayers must hold their elected officials accountable and require them to produce truthful and transparent financial reports to solve this critical problem.”

The database of financial and economic data about the cities is available by clicking here.

The full ranking of taxpayer burden is:

  1. Charlotte, N.C.: ($3,300)
  2. Fresno, Calif.: ($2,100)
  3. Raleigh, N.C.: ($1,100)
  4. Louisville, Ky.: ($700)
  5. Long Beach, Calif.: ($600)
  6. Wichita, Kan. ($500)
  7. Arlington, Texas: ($100)
  8. Tulsa, Okla.: $300
  9. Oklahoma City, Okla.: $1,100
  10.  Las Vegas: $1,300
  11.  Minneapolis: $2,300
  12.  Columbus, Ohio: $2,700
  13.  Washington, D.C.: $2,800
  14.  Albuquerque, N.M.: $2,800
  15.  Colorado Springs: $2,800
  16.  San Diego: $2,900
  17.  Austin, Texas: $3,000
  18.  San Antonio, Texas: $3,300
  19.  El Paso, Texas: $3,700
  20.  Indianapolis: $4,300
  21.  Denver: $4,300
  22.  Sacramento, Calif.: $4,800
  23.  Atlanta: $4,800
  24.  Phoenix: $5,000
  25.  Virginia Beach, Va.: $5,700
  26.  Jacksonville, Fla.: $6,100
  27.  Mesa, Ariz.: $6,100
  28.  Seattle: $6,600
  29.  Milwaukee, Wis.: $6,800
  30.  Los Angeles: $7,400
  31.  Omaha, Neb.: $7,900
  32.  Tucson, Ariz.: $8,300
  33.  San Jose, Calif.: $9,100
  34.  Kansas City, Kan.: $9,400
  35.  Fort Worth, Texas: $9,700
  36.  Houston: $11,700
  37.  Boston: $13,000
  38.  Miami: $14,000
  39.  Detroit: $14,100
  40.  Baltimore: $14,600
  41.  Nashville, Tenn.: $15,000
  42.  San Francisco: $16,400
  43.  Dallas: $16,900
  44.  Oakland, Calif.: $17,100
  45.  New Orleans: $17,600
  46.  Memphis, Tenn.: $18,500
  47.  Portland, Ore.: $18,800
  48.  Philadelphia: $27,500
  49.  Chicago: $44,000
  50.  New York City: $61,000

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