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Census Bureau Reports State and Local Government Revenue Increased More Than 51 Percent in 2010

In 2010, state and local governments brought in nearly $3.2 trillion in revenue, a 51.4 percent ($1.1 trillion) increase from 2009, according to statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau. Revenue from the federal government increased 16.1 percent from $537.2 billion to $623.7 billion between 2009 and 2010. (See Table 1 [Excel])

These findings come from the 2010 Annual Surveys of State and Local Government Finances, which include statistics on revenues (including taxes), expenditures, debt and assets (cash and security holdings) for state and local governments.

State and local government expenditures increased 4.0 percent in 2010, totaling more than $3.1 trillion. Education continued to be the largest single expense ($860.0 billion) for 2010. Debt outstanding for state and local governments increased $123.5 billion (4.6 percent) to $2.8 trillion in 2010.

State and local spending on education comprised more than 33.0 percent of expenditures in five states (Arkansas, Texas, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia). Maine led the nation in state and local government spending on public welfare as a percentage of total spending (23.7 percent). (See Table 2 [Excel])

New Hampshire led the nation in state and local property tax revenue as a percentage of general revenue at 33.6 percent. Two other states (Connecticut and New Jersey) had percentages more than 25.0 percent of general revenue. (See Table 3 [Excel])

For local governments, unemployment compensation expenditures had the largest percentage increase, going up 147.4 percent to $458.5 million in 2010 ($185.3 million in 2009). Property tax revenue was up 2.0 percent to $427.1 billion in 2010. Capital outlay spending on education declined 12.2 percent to $64.0 billion in 2010. (See Table 4 [Excel])

Other highlights for combined state and local government finances:

  • Unemployment compensation expenditures saw a 104.6 percent increase from $66.2 billion in 2009 to $135.4 billion in 2010.
  • Insurance benefits and repayments increased 29.7 percent from $277.4 billion in 2009 to $359.8 billion in 2010.
  • Spending on administering social insurance increased 12.8 percent from $4.6 billion in 2009 to $5.2 billion in 2010.
  • Revenue from individual income taxes decreased 3.9 percent from $270.9 billion in 2009 to $260.3 billion in 2010.
  • Corporate income tax revenue declined 7.4 percent to $42.9 billion.
  • Insurance trust revenue increased from negative $486.5 billion in 2009 to positive $515.8 billion in 2010. Insurance trust revenue includes retirement and insurance contributions and earnings and losses on investment assets.
  • Cash and security holdings increased 6.0 percent to $4.8 trillion in 2010, up from $4.5 trillion in 2009.
Data in this report are subject to sampling variability as well as nonsampling errors. Sources of nonsampling errors include errors of response, nonreporting and coverage. More details covering the design methodology are available online at <http://www2.census.gov/govs/estimate/2010_local_finance_methodology.pdf >. All comparative statements in this report have undergone statistical testing, and unless otherwise noted, all comparisons are statistically significant at the 10 percent significance level.
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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | PIO@census.gov | Last Revised: May 19, 2016