Editing: Editing is a process that tries to ensure the accuracy, completeness, and consistency of survey data. Efforts are made at all phases of collection, processing, and tabulation to minimize reporting, keying, and processing errors.
Data are processed from several collection methods including direct response to survey forms from state government officials, as well as from the compilation of administrative records and supplemental sources. Regardless of the collection method, data are edited using ratio edits of the current year’s value to the prior year's value.
There may be times when state records do not include full tax revenue detail or reporting units do not respond and supplemental data sources are required. In such instances, supplemental data sources from external financial reports or the Census Bureau's Annual Survey of State Finances and Quarterly Summary of State and Local Government Tax Revenue(Table 3) are required to complete the data set. Supplemental records are merged with data from the state governments. Although every effort is made to obtain financial information from all state government entities, financial statements may not be available at the time the Census Bureau closes the processing, or governmental entities may not respond to our requests. As a result the data are subject to revisions each year, under conditions of improved information.
Classification of administrative records: The fifty state governments provide the Census Bureau with administrative records from their central accounting system. These administrative records are unique to each state as each state is legally organized differently from every other state and, as such, each state has a unique organizational and accounting structure. It is the responsibility of the Census Bureau to classify the different accounting and organizational structures into uniform tax categories so that entities with different methods of government accounting can be presented on a comparable basis. The records represent the core, or central, state government and are limited to tax revenue. Data on state government tax revenues are compiled from state administrative records by Census Bureau employees, according to the Census Bureau's classification methodology as outlined in the Government Finance and Employment Classification Manual.
Imputation: Not all respondents answer every item on the survey. Additionally, sources determined to be equivalent-quality-to-reported data may not be available. Imputation is the process of filling in missing or invalid data with reasonable values in order to have a complete data set for analytical purposes.
Tabulation: After the data are edited and imputed, the State Government Tax Collections data are aggregated to yield the downloadable files that are available on the website.
To view the most common aggregate tax categories that are used in the tables and special tabulations, see the section of the Government Finance and Employment Classification Manual entitled Methodology for Summary Tabulations.
Revisions: The Annual Survey of State Government Tax Collections releases revisions for the two prior year's of data alongside each release. For example, the 2012 data included revisions for fiscal years 2011 and 2010. Any revisions for these fiscal years are documented with the character "R" next to the revised figure. This is available on all downloadable data available on the survey's website.
For additional information on the revisions made please see the specific "Detailed Revisions for Fiscal Year" reference documents alongside the given fiscal year.
Given the nested nature of the State Tax Collections data within the Annual Survey of State Government Finances and the Annual Survey of State & Local Government Finances, users should also note that the tax data presented here are the most current revised data for the State Government Tax Collections Survey. The State Government Finance Survey data are initially released approximately 9 months following the initial release of State Government Tax Collections data. Any revisions made to the tax component will be made with that release.
Sampling Error: These data are not subject to sampling error because this is a complete enumeration of all 50 State governments.