State and Local Taxes

State and Local Taxes

At the state and local level, taxes have been rising as a share of GDP over the last few decades to match the gradual rise in spending, as this figure illustrates. The main revenue sources for state and local governments are sales taxes, property taxes, and revenue passed along from the federal government, but many state and local governments also levy personal and corporate income taxes, as well as impose a wide variety of fees and charges. The specific sources of tax revenue vary widely across state and local governments. Some states rely more on property taxes, some on sales taxes, some on income taxes, and some more on revenues from the federal government.

State and Local Tax Revenue as a Share of GDP, 1960–2014

The graph shows that total state and local revenue (as a percentage of GDP) was less than 8% in 1960. It has decreased a bit since 2013.

State and local tax revenues have increased to match the rise in state and local spending. (Source: Economic Report of the President, 2015. Table B-21, https://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/cea/economic-report-of-the-President/2015)


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