Maryland taxpayers also owe nearly twice as much as Virginians in state-issued bonds, or long-term debt, the report found.
|Maryland in the red|
|Unfunded liabilities/Total debt Maryland: $17.5 billion/$26.7 billion|
|Virginia: $10.7 billion/$17.8 billion|
|The states' combined pension and long-term debt liabilities as a percentage of:|
|Personal income: 13.5 percent|
|GDP: 9.8 percent|
|Per capita: $4,677|
|Revenue: 172.7 percent|
|Personal income: 7.4 percent|
|GDP: 4.5 percent|
|Per capita: $2,257|
|Revenue: 114.6 percent|
Maryland's total debt adds up to $4,677 per resident, while Virginia's is $2,257.
The statistics make Maryland residents the 13th-most-indebted taxpayers in the nation, ahead of Californians, New Yorkers and again, Virginians -- who ranked 31st the report.
Maryland's pension system -- unpaid benefits owed to current and future retirees -- is underfunded by roughly $18 billion, after the state promised teachers and state workers higher benefits packages while repeatedly failing to pay what was owed for years.
Virginia owes its pension system roughly $11 billion.
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley has proposed a combinations of reforms that include requiring employees to pay more in contributions or reduce their benefits, increasing the retirement age and tweaking cost-of-living adjustments.
But a number of lawmakers have said those measures don't go far enough.
"I can't justify why we should be subsidizing tax dollars for [Boards of Education's] cushiony commitments to pensions," Del. Kathryn L. Afzali, R-Frederick County, said at a Ways and Means Committee hearing.
Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller says O'Malley "punted" on the state's pension problems.
Moody's published the numbers as credit analysts call for greater scrutiny over states' pension liabilities, which are ballooning out of control across the nation.
"I'm glad [Moody's] is doing this," said Hugh McGuirk, head of municipal investments for T. Rowe Price. "To the extent that it will require additional disclosure of pension liabilities and put further pressure on municipalities to address the gap in their long-term liabilities."
Moody's is now backing a measure before the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee that would require states to annually submit detailed financial information on their pension liabilities to the Treasury Department.
"Public information on the status of pensions has been difficult to find and lacking a consistent presentation," said Moody's Vice President Wesley Smyth. "The proposed rules would more closely align public pensions' reported expenses and obligations with corporate peers and prove new incentives to state and local governments to take action to ensure the long-term viability of their plans."
States that fail to comply with the new rules would lose their ability to issue tax-exempt bonds.
Standard & Poor's, another national rating agency, has included pension liabilities in its state credit ratings for more than a decade, said spokesman Ed Sweeney.