Census: State, Local Government Tax Collections Hit Record High

Published July 25, 2013

Local and state governments are collecting more tax money from individuals and businesses than ever.

The U.S. Census Bureau in July released its State and Local Government Finance Summary, examining fiscal 2011 numbers. State and local governments collected a record-setting $3.4 trillion in revenue from all sources that year.

From that figure, $2.6 trillion is considered “general revenue,” which includes a record-high $1.3 trillion in tax collections. According to the Census report, several of these indicators are signs of improvement for state and local government finance; in other words, more evidence of a slowly recovering economy.

Big Rise in Income Tax

It also means more money from taxpayers — individual income tax revenue collections went up by 9.5 percent to $284 billion in 2011. Corporate income taxes increased 10.7 percent, to $48.5 billion.

“Tax revenue increased in 2011 for the first time in 2 years, led by gains in sales and gross receipt taxes and individual income taxes,” the report noted. “Additionally, unemployment compensation declined for the first time in 4 years.”

The overall revenue boost also came from gains in insurance trust revenue, which includes pension funds and programs such as unemployment compensation and Social Security. That revenue grew by nearly 30 percent, from $512.8 billion in 2010 to $663.6 billion in 2011, marking a second straight year of increases.

Used with permission of Watchdog.org.