Seattle Would Have To Collect Thousands From Every Taxpayer To Escape Its Debt
March 4, 2020
A new report from the nonprofit group Truth in Accounting shows that the city of Seattle would have to collect $5,400 from every single eligible taxpayer to pay its bills.
The report analyzed the fiscal health of America’s 75 largest cities and then graded them from first to worst, along with giving each city a letter grade. Out of 75 cities, Seattle ranked the 44th worst and received a “D” letter grade.
Seattle’s debt burden amounts to $1.5 billion, which would cost $5,400 per taxpayer to pay off. If the city’s bills are not reduced, taxpayers would have to pay that amount without receiving any more benefits such as pensions.
Much of Seattle’s debt obligation comes from unpaid retirement benefits. The city still owes taxpayers $1.4 billion in pension payments.
The study also classified cities as either “sunshine” or “sinkhole” depending on their outstanding debt. If cities had enough funds to pay their bills, they were called “sunshine,” if they did not have the funds, they were classified as “sinkhole.” Seattle was classified as the latter.