Tax Break

State tax revenues up in 2011, but not booming

April 13, 2012

Tax collections rose in all 50 states last year, according to the U.S. Census bureau, as our colleague Lisa Lambert reported Thursday.

“The nationwide increases in state government tax revenue are an indication of the stabilization of revenues for state governments,” Lisa Blumerman, chief of the Governments Division at the Census, was quoted as saying.

Stable but not booming, according to a Rockefeller Institute analysis of that data, which finds overall tax revenue is still down significantly from pre-recession levels in 2008.
Source: Rockefeller Institute analysis of Census Bureau data.

The chart above from the Institute’s report shows the percent change in total, sales and personal income tax collections in for fiscal years 2009, 2010 and 2011 compared to fiscal 2008. At the end of fiscal 2011, overall tax collections were still 2.1 percent below the peak tax collections levels.

Lucy Dadayan, author of the report, explains that results varied from state to state.

Personal income tax collections have suffered the most persistent and widespread declines, despite strong growth in the last year or so. Among 43 states with personal income taxes, 38 states reported declines in personal income tax collections in fiscal 2011 compared to their peak levels, with 18 states reporting double-digit declines. Only five states have seen increases in their personal income tax collections since peak levels.
Nonetheless, fiscal 2011 was a better year for state tax revenues than fiscal 2010. The year-over-year growth rates in overall tax collections in fiscal 2011 ranged from 0.4 percent in Hawaii to 44.5 percent in North Dakota.

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