How widespread are municipal bankruptcies?  Are municipal defaults increasing?  What about state and local pension funding?

State and local government revenues have been slowly improving, making it possible for many officials to take steps to address their fiscal challenges.  ICMA and the national organizations representing the nation’s governors, state legislatures, and state and local officials have released, “State and Local Fiscal Facts 2015.” 

This quick reference provides up-to-date facts, including:

  • Forty-one states and the District of Columbia expect to meet or exceed their FY 2015 revenue projections.
  • Since 2010, only 8 out of 37 bankruptcy filings have been by general purpose governments. And only 12 states authorize Chapter IX bankruptcy filings for their general-purpose local governments.
  • From 1970 through 2014, there were 92 rated municipal bond defaults, of which only six were rated city or county governments. The majority of rated defaulted bonds were issued by not-for-profit hospitals or housing project financings.
  • Between 2009 and 2014, every state made changes to pension benefit levels, contribution rate structures, or both. State and local retirement trusts hold $3.7 trillion in assets and had, on average, a funded level of 72 percent in 2013.
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