Tax Backgrounders

These six articles provide a data-driven overview of state tax systems.  They were designed with legislators of all tax policy backgrounds in mind.  These briefs can help develop a general understanding of state taxes for legislators with little experience on the subject.  They also provice a convenient reference point or organized statistices on state taxes and economies and resources for further research.  This may be particularly useful for state finance analysts with an interest in the details of state finance.

Questeions that legislators can expect fo find quick answers to in these documents are listed under each title and link to the full article:

 Taxes and State Revenue
-How much of state government revenue comes from taxes?  What other sources of revenue do states have, and how do these compare to taxes in design and size?

State, Federal and Local Taxes
-How do state taxes compare to federal and local taxes?  What is the size of total tax collections from all levels of government in the United sates, as well as the size of each level individually?  What economic activity is taxed the most?  Which forms of taxes do each level of government rely on the most?

Importance of Major State Taxes
-How much revenue do states get from the three mainstays of state taxation (personal income, corporate income and general sales taxes)?  What share do other state taxes contribute?

Changes in the Composition of Tax Collections over Time
-How has the importance of each tax category changed since 1970?  What percentage of personal income has gone to state and local taxes over that time?

Taxes and the Economy
-How much are state, local and federal taxes compared to the size of the economy?  How do movements in the economy affect the dynamics of state tax collections?  What effects do recessions have on state taxes?  How much are state and local taxes compared to gross state product (GSP) by region and state?

Which States Rely on Which Tax
-What is the average dependence on each of the major taxes?  Which states rely most heavily on income or sales taxes?  How important are natural resource (severance), property, and business taxes to state finances?

For questions or comments on this information please contact Mandy Rafool.