State government tax collections increased $34.3 billion to $794.6 billion from the 2011 to the 2012 fiscal year, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The total is the most ever collected, topping the previous high of $779.7 billion in 2008. State tax revenues increased 13 percent from $703.4 billion in 2010. Tax revenue on personal income was 8.1 percent higher in 2012 than 2011, and general sales tax revenue was up 4.7 percent to $242.7 billion.
There was an increase in total tax revenue in 47 states between 2011 and 2012, the Census found. Standouts were North Dakota (47.0 percent), Alaska (27.3 percent), Illinois (19.1 percent) and Connecticut (15.0 percent). Nearly 73 percent of taxes collected nationwide are in income, sales and license taxes.
New York ranked second, behind California, for the most taxes collected in 2012. It collected $71.5 billion, compared to $112.4 billion for California. Texas ranked third with $48.6 billion. New York is the third most populous state, after California and Texas. South Dakota collected the lowest amount of taxes — $1.5 billion.
The totals do not include property taxes, which are collected by local governments. New York brought in $22.9 billion in sales and gross receipts taxes, $1.9 billion in license taxes (most from motor vehicle licenses), $43.3 billion in income taxes and $1.1 billion in death and gift taxes.
These statistics are from the 2012 Annual Survey of State Government Tax Collections, which contains annual statistics on the fiscal year tax collections of all 50 state governments.
“The Census Bureau’s state government tax collections data are an essential benchmark of state fiscal conditions,” said Donald Boyd, a senior fellow at the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government at the State University of New York at Albany. “The latest data show that state tax revenue is continuing to recover, albeit slowly, from the depth of the recession.”