Wednesday, January 27, 2021
The City of Irvine in 2020, for the fourth straight year, ranked No. 1 in fiscal strength across the country. The Truth in Accounting (TIA) ranking of America’s largest 75 cities calculates how a city would fare financially after all the bills are paid. Irvine was given a surplus score of $4,100 per taxpayer, earning the distinction as the most fiscally healthy large city in the United States.
TIA ranks each city based on its Taxpayer Burden or Taxpayer Surplus. A Taxpayer Burden is the amount of money each taxpayer would have to contribute if the city were to pay all of its debt accumulated to date. Taxpayer Surplus is the amount of money left over after all of a city’s bills are paid, divided by the estimated number of taxpayers in the city.
“The City of Irvine is proud to receive recognition for maintaining a strong financial record for the fourth consecutive year, especially so during the COVID-19 health crisis,” said Irvine Mayor Farrah N. Khan. “This ranking confirms the City Council and City staff remain committed to ensuring resident tax dollars are being wisely managed. Maintaining a balanced budget, with the highest level of transparency, is essential to this City Council.”
Unlike most cities before the COVID-19 crisis, Irvine had enough resources available to pay all of its bills, including public employees’ retirement benefits. This means that Irvine’s elected officials have truly balanced their budgets.
“Cities with a Taxpayer Surplus have demonstrated political leadership that values honesty, sustainability, and financial responsibility,” said TIA founder and CEO Sheila Weinberg. “We need more city and state governments to use good accounting practices to truly balance their budgets.”
Truth in Accounting, a think tank that analyzes government financial reporting drew their data from fiscal year 2019 Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports. This report represents the cities’ finances before the global coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns. The full Financial State of the Cities report can be found online here.