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All 50 States Show Tax Revenue Growth In 2011

  • Apr 23, 2012 | Susan McLain

Good News has been spread by the Census Bureau this month about state tax revenues.  A recent press release states that “Overall government tax collections for states increased $55.7 billion to $757.2 billion in fiscal year 2011.”

The reports results come from the 2011 Annual Survey of State Government Tax Collections. “This survey covers the state tax collections by the state governments for categories of property taxes, sales and gross receipts taxes, license taxes, individual income taxes, and other taxes.”

Unfortunately, data is a challenge to assess sometimes. Forty-six of the states have a fiscal year that runs from July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011; two end on September 30; one on March 31; and one on August 31.

In 2010, only 11 states declared an increase over the previous year’s total tax collections; For 2011, “…all 50 states reported a positive increase over the previous year’s total tax collection.” In evaluating some of the increases, the reasons differed: “For example, in the case of Alaska, increased tax revenue was largely due to strength in severance tax revenues, which are taxes imposed for the extraction of natural resources. Whereas, Florida’s revenue increase was largely driven by sales and gross receipts tax.” That increase enabled Alaska to be the state with the second highest increase of total tax percent change at 22.4 percent.

Individual Income Tax and Sales and Use Tax Highest Revenue Categories

According to the report, “[t]he majority of states with year-to-year positive growth were affected by increases in revenue categories such as sales and gross receipts and individual income tax.”

Individual income taxes and sales and gross receipts taxes were the two highest tax collection categories. Income tax accounted for 34.2% of total state tax collections, and general sales and gross receipts taxes accounted for 31.0%. Overall, income tax revenues were up 9.8 percent and general sales and gross receipts tax revenue was up 5.4 percent over 2010.

Only Three States Show Decrease In Sales Tax Revenues

It would seem logical then, that most of the states cited an increase in their general sales and use tax revenues. The only states to show a decrease were South Carolina (-1.4 percent), Virginia (-2.3 percent), and California (-0.6 percent).  Even with the decrease in sales and use tax collection, California still showed an 11.3 percent increase in total tax revenues over 2010. That brought California into the top 10 states for highest total tax percent change.

According to Lisa Blumerman, chief of the Governments Division, “The nationwide increases in state government tax revenue are an indication of the stabilization of revenues for state governments.”

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Sales tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Avalara Author
Susan McLain
Avalara Author Susan McLain
Susan McLain began her career as a technical writer in technology industries such as satellite networking and medical devices. Her skills encompass technical and marketing writing, usability engineering, verification and validation testing and protocol writing, requirements development, business analysis, technical illustration/graphic design and marketing. She has owned her own business providing service to small to medium sized business and in other positions, she has been in project management, documentation and marketing. She is currently the content specialist for Avalara helping to “make sales tax less taxing.”