NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

State Government Tax Collections Increase $56 Billion in 2011

April 20, 2012

New statistics from the 2011 Annual Survey of State Government Tax Collections contain figures on the fiscal year tax collections of all 50 state governments.  This survey provides an annual summary of taxes collected by states for up to 25 tax categories, says the U.S. Census Bureau.

For fiscal year 2011, the general trend seems to be that tax revenues are beginning to stabilize.  States have realized significant increases in tax revenue from various types of taxes -- an influx of revenue that will certainly aid efforts to close state budgetary gaps.

  • Overall government tax collections for states increased $55.7 billion to $757.2 billion in fiscal year 2011.
  • Corporate net income tax revenue was at $40.2 billion, up 9.4 percent, while tax revenue on individual income was at $259.1 billion, up 9.8 percent.
  • Meanwhile, general sales tax revenue was at $234.5 billion, up 5.4 percent.
  • These three categories of taxation are especially crucial because they comprised 70.5 percent of all state government tax collections nationally.

According to Lisa Blumerman, chief of the governments division, augmented tax revenues will prove essential as states attempt to continue to provide basic services throughout the economic recovery.  The survey, however, also shows that these increases are not spread uniformly across all states.

  • States with the largest percent increase in revenue from individual income taxes were North Dakota (42.6 percent), Illinois (31.9 percent), Arizona (18.5 percent) and Indiana (18.5 percent).
  • States with the largest percent increase in motor fuels tax revenue were California (80.3 percent), Alaska (37.4 percent), North Dakota (13.1 percent) and Kentucky (10.6 percent).
  • Severance taxes -- collected for removal or harvesting of natural resources (e.g., oil, gas, coal, timber, fish, etc.) -- were up $3.5 billion (a 31.2 percent increase), but the largest increases were seen in the West.

Though the statistics do not incorporate the fiscal health of local governments, the rebounding state revenues are an auspicious sign that states will not face as many financial challenges in fiscal year 2012 as they did in 2011.

Source: "State Government Tax Collections Increase $56 Billion in 2011," U.S. Census Bureau, April 17, 2012.

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