U.S. Department of Commerce

State Government Tax Collections Survey

Skip top of page navigation
You are here: About the SurveyGovernments Programs › State Government Tax Collections Survey

PURPOSE

This is a recurring annual survey of state government tax revenue, by type of tax. The survey covers the fifty state governments, as well as all dependent state-level governmental entities, providing a summary of annual taxes collected for up to 25 tax categories. The United States Code, Title 13, authorizes this survey and responses are voluntary.

The files and tables contain annual statistics for state governments only. They should not be interpreted as state-area data (state government plus local government tax collections combined).

While the data records are ultimately from state government sources, the classification of taxes among the different categories is entirely the responsibility of the Census Bureau. Therefore, tax classification might not reflect the actual classification or presentation as requested by the various state government respondents.

CONTENT

Statistics on the State Government Tax Collections Survey include measurement of tax by category: Property Tax, Sales and Gross Receipts Taxes, License Taxes, Income Taxes, and Other Taxes. Each tax category is broken down into sub-categories (e.g., motor fuel sales, alcoholic beverage sales, motor vehicle licenses, alcoholic beverage licenses, and so on). There are currently 25 different tax codes that state tax revenue may fall into.

In this survey, "taxes" are defined as all compulsory contributions exacted by a government for public purposes, except employer and employee assessments for retirement and social insurance purposes, which are classified as insurance trust revenue. Outside the scope of this collection are data on the unemployment compensation "taxes" imposed by each of the state governments. However, all receipts from licenses and compulsory fees, including those that are imposed for regulatory purposes, as well as those designated to provide revenue are included.

 

Tax revenue is further defined to include related penalty and interest receipts of a government, but to exclude protested amounts and refunds. The deduction from gross collections of amounts refunded is particularly significant with respect to motor fuel sales taxes ("gasoline" taxes) and individual income taxes.

The statistics reflect state government fiscal years that end on June 30, except for four states with other ending dates: Alabama and Michigan (September 30), New York (March 31), and Texas (August 31).

For further information on what is measured and how data are classified please consult Chapter 4 of the Government Finance and Employment Classification Manual [PDF, 427KB].

FREQUENCY

Data have been collected annually since 1939.

PRODUCTS

Viewable summary tables for the U.S. and each individual state and a viewable ranking table ranking states according to total tax. Downloadable spreadsheet of the U.S. and state summary tables and a flat data file providing detailed tax item data for each of the 50 state governments.

USES

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:

  • Development of the government component of the gross domestic product estimates
  • Development of the national income accounts
  • Tax policy research

SPECIAL FEATURES

Provides current and nationally consistent data on state tax revenues, an important indicator of the fiscal condition of state governments.

RELATED PROGRAMS

Economic Census

Quarterly Tax Survey

Annual Survey of State and Local Government Finances


EXPLORE INFORMATION

CONTINUE OVERVIEW

Governments

Next Program

U.S. Economy

Economy Overview