Monday, June 05, 2006

Government Figures: State and Local Revenues

The Census Bureau recently published its compilation of revenues and expenditures by state and local governments for the 2003-04 fiscal year. The summary for all state and local governments can be found here:

State and local governments combined took in $2.4 trillion during 2003-04. Of that amount, about $425.6 billion was distributed to the states from the federal government, leaving around $2 trillion coming from other sources. Taxes, including property, sales, and income taxes imposed by state and local governments, totaled about $1.4 trillion. The other $0.6 trillion comes from sources like tuition to state schools, public utilities, insurance trust funds, and the like.

Breaking down state and local government figures, it appears that they are roughly the same size in terms of tax collections. Local governments benefit from some revenues transferred from the state government in many cases, thus complementing this revenue sharing approach from the federal to state governments.

For comparative purposes, the federal government’s receipts for 2003-04 totaled about $1.8 trillion. Spending was higher at $2.2 trillion, reflecting a significant deficit. Thus, the federal government is actually smaller, in terms of total revenues, than the sum of state and local counterparts, though not by much. I doubt if the founding fathers would have ever contemplated near parity in the size of these institutions.

For state by state comparisons, see this website by the Public Policy Institute of New York State, which was cited in last Friday’s BNA daily tax report. It may not surprise you to see that NY has the highest per capita tax rates. As for Midwestern states, Nebraska is at 15 and Iowa is at 28. The list can be found here:


No comments: