Each Mississippian has a $10,000 taxpayer burden

By Aaron Rice
October 1, 2019

Each Mississippian has a taxpayer burden of $10,000 to account for their part of the state’s $7.4 billion in debt. 

In its tenth annual Financial State of the States report, Truth in Accounting gave Mississippi a “D” for its financial condition. That placed Mississippi 31st, an uptick from their 33rd last year. A plurality of states – 36 percent – received the same grade.

“Mississippi’s elected officials have made repeated financial decisions that have left the state with a debt burden of $7.4 billion. That burden equates to $10,000 for every state taxpayer. Mississippi’s financial problems stem mostly from unfunded retirement obligations that have accumulated over the years. Of the $15.8 billion in retirement benefits promised, the state has not funded $5.8 billion in pension and $330.7 million in retiree health care benefits,” the report said. 

The $10,000 that each taxpayer owes is also slightly better than the $11,300 needed to cover the state’s bills last year. 

The report found:

  • Mississippi has $6 billion available to pay $13.4 billion worth of bills. 
  • The outcome is a $7.4 billion shortfall, which breaks down to a burden of 
  • $10,000 per taxpayer. 
  • This means that each taxpayer would pay $10,000 in future taxes without receiving any related services or benefits.

Ten years ago, the taxpayer burden in Mississippi was just $4,900. 

According to the report, ten states – including Tennessee – had a taxpayer surplus. New Jersey had the highest taxpayer burden at $65,100. 


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