To provide periodic and comprehensive statistics about governments and governmental financial activities. The United States Code, Title 13, authorizes this survey and provides for voluntary responses.
Revenue data include taxes (i.e., property, sales, tobacco, motor vehicle, licensing and permit), charges, interest, and other earnings. Expenditure data include total by function (I.e., education, highways, airports, water and sewerage, health, hospitals, corrections, fire and police protection), and by accounting category (I.e., current operations and capital outlays). Debt data include issuance, retirement, and amounts outstanding. Financial assets data include securities and other holdings, by type.
A census is conducted every five years (years ending in '2' and '7'). A sample of state and local governments is used to collect data in the intervening years. A new sample is selected every five years (years ending in '4' and '9').
The U.S. Congress, federal agencies, state and local governments, educational and research organizations, and the general public employ these results. Some major uses include the following:
Provides the most current, comprehensive and comparable source of data on state and local government finances.