Chart by State Data Lab

Chart by State Data Lab

The Institute for Truth in Accounting named Connecticut one of 13 “Turkey States” for spending more than it took in last year according to a measure the institute calculates.

“Turkeys may be tasty on the Thanksgiving table, but they aren’t the smartest bird in the tree.  These ‘Turkey States’ couldn’t keep spending within income for fiscal year 2012, despite the recovering economy,” the institute explained in its brief report.

According to the institute’s net revenue calculation, Connecticut ran a budget deficit last year. Legally, Connecticut had a balanced budget last year because it uses modified cash accounting instead of accrual accounting.

“Since 2009 when we began analyzing state liabilities and assets available to pay debt, Connecticut has been our worst ‘Sinkhole State’ every year,” said Sheila Weinberg, founder and CEO of the institute.

“Each Connecticut taxpayer’s share of state debt was $46,000 at the end of fiscal year 2012,” Weinberg said. “The lack of truth and transparency in the budget process allows elected officials to claim they are ‘balancing’ the budget, as required by law, and over-spend at the same time.

These states had negative net revenue last year, in order from largest to smallest deficit: New Jersey, Illinois, New York, Massachusetts, Louisiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, Maryland, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Hawaii, California and Delaware.

The institute also runs the State Data Lab, which organizes financial and demographic data from a number of sources.