How States Raise Their Tax Dollars

FY 2019

Taxes make up about half of state government revenue, with two-thirds of states’ total tax dollars coming from levies on personal income (37.9%) and general sales of goods and services (30.9%).

Broad-based personal income taxes are the greatest source of tax dollars in 30 of the 41 states that impose them, with the highest share—70.5%—in Oregon. General sales taxes are the largest source in 15 of the 45 states that collect them. Florida is the most reliant on these taxes, at 62.5%. Other sources bring in the most tax revenue in a handful of states: severance taxes in Alaska and North Dakota, property taxes in Vermont, license taxes and fees—such as franchise taxes that companies pay to incorporate in a state—in Delaware, and selective sales taxes on particular goods and services—such as tobacco and hotel rooms—in New Hampshire.

This infographic illustrates the sources of each state’s tax revenue.

Mix of Tax Sources by State, FY 2019

Select revenue sources below to highlight them and resort the chart:

Personal income
General sales
Selective sales
Licenses
Corporate income
Property
Severance
Other
0%25%50%75%100%0%25%50%75%100%

Note: Unlike 41 states with broad-based personal income taxes, New Hampshire and Tennessee tax only certain dividend and interest income. Tennessee’s tax will be phased out in 2021.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 Annual Survey of State Government Tax Collections

States of Innovation

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Fiscal 50

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Fiscal 50: State Trends and Analysis, an interactive resource from The Pew Charitable Trusts, allows you to sort and analyze data on key fiscal, economic, and demographic trends in the 50 states and understand their impact on states’ fiscal health.

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Where States Get Their Money, FY 2018

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Taxes and federal funds together account for 81% of revenue for the 50 states. Taxes are the largest revenue source in 44 states, while federal funds are greatest in six: Alaska, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, and Wyoming. This infographic displays a breakdown of each state’s revenue by major categories.