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Revenue Charts   also: Spending Charts  Debt Charts  Deficit Charts  

 

This page shows the current trends in US Local revenue. There are also charts on US Local revenue history.

Recent and Estimated* US Local Revenue

Chart R.01l: Local Revenue in trillions

Chart R.02l: Local Revenue in percent GDP

The two charts show above show recent and "guesstimated" direct revenue for local governments in the United States. On the left is a chart of revenue in current dollars. On the right is a chart of revenue as a percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

US Local Government Revenue Since 1900

Chart R.03l: Local Government Revenue in 20th Century

Local government began the 20th century as the dominant tax collector, with annual revenue of 3.5 percent of GDP. Local revenue increased rapidly in the first three decades of the century, peaking at over 9 percent of GDP in the depths of the Great Depression. Over the middle decades, from 1935 to 1950, local government revenues crashed, declining to 3 percent of GDP in the late 1940s. Local revenues recovered briskly through 1960, hitting over 7 percent of GDP. From 1960 to 1990 revenues increased more slowly, reaching just under 7 percent of GDP in the mid 1990s. In the early 2000s local revenues are showing a slight increase, from 6.5 percent in 2001 to over 7 percent by 2010.

Federal, State, Local Revenue in 20th Century

Chart R.04t: Local Government Revenue
by Government Level


At the start of the 20th century, about half of government revenue was local government revenue. Out of a total of 7 percent of GDP, a full 3.5 percent was collected at the local level. Federal revenue spiked in World War I, but by the mid 1920s, local government revenue and federal revenue were about equal at 5 percent of GDP, with state revenue below 2 percent of GDP. During the 1930s this changed, as state revenue surged to 5 percent of GDP while federal revenue increased to 7 to 8 percent of GDP and local revenue increased to about 6 percent of GDP. After the spike of World War II, when federal revenue briefly hit almost 24 percent of GDP, state and local governments entered the 1950s at about 4 percent of GDP while federal revenue fluctuated between 16 and 18 percent of GDP. Since the 1950s state and local revenue has steadily increased, with state revenue reaching 10 percent of GDP and local revenue reaching 6.5 percent of GDP in 2000.

State-by-State Comparison of State and Local Revenue

Chart R.05c: State and Local Revenue Comparison


The bubble chart shows total state and local revenue for each state in dollars per capita compared against the Gross State Product (GSP) in dollars per capita. The chart shows that the overwhelming number of states show a correlation between state and local revenue and GSP. Notable outliers are Texas and Massachusetts, on the low taxing side and New York, California, Vermont, and North Dakota, on the high taxing side.

Top Revenue Requests:

Find DEFICIT stats and history.

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Find NATIONAL DEBT today.

See FEDERAL BUDGET breakdown and estimated vs. actual.

Check INCOME TAX details and history.

See BAR CHARTS of revenue, debt.

See PIE CHARTS of total revenue, federal revenue.

Check STATE revenue: CA NY TX FL and compare.

See REVENUE HISTORY briefing.

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Make your own CUSTOM CHART.

Revenue Data Sources

Revenue data is from official government sources.
  Federal data since 1962 comes from the president’s budget.
  All other revenue data comes from the US Census Bureau.

Gross Domestic Product data comes from US Bureau of Economic Analysis and measuringworth.com.

Detailed table of revenue data sources here.

Federal revenue data begins in 1792.

State and local revenue data begins in 1890.

State and local revenue data for individual states begins in 1957.

Spending 101 Courses

Spending | Federal Debt | Revenue | Defense | Welfare | Healthcare | Education
Debt History | Entitlements | Deficits | State Spending | State Taxes | State Debt


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Next Data Update

> US GDP CY14

> data update schedule.

Data Sources for 2010_2020:

Sources for 2010:

GDP, GO: GDP, GO Sources
Federal: Fed. Budget: Hist. Tables 2.1, 2.4, 2.5, 7.1
State and Local: State and Local Gov. Finances
'Guesstimated' by projecting the latest change in reported revenue forward to future years

Sources for 2020:

GDP, GO: GDP, GO Sources
Federal: Fed. Budget: Hist. Tables 2.1, 2.4, 2.5, 7.1
State and Local: State and Local Gov. Finances
'Guesstimated' by projecting the latest change in reported revenue forward to future years

> data sources for other years
> data update schedule.

State Finances for FY 2013

On February 3, 2015 the US Census Bureau released data on state finances for FY 2013 here, including spending and revenue for each individual state and for all states combined.

On February 3, 2015 we updated state and local spending and revenue data for FY2013 through FY2020 as follows:
  1. We replaced "guesstimatedstate spending and revenue data for FY2013 using the new FY2013 data from the Census Bureau.
  2. We replaced "guesstimatedlocal spending and revenue data for FY 2013 with estimates for each spending and revenue category using the trends in state finances between FY 2012 and FY 2013.
  3. We replaced "guesstimatedstate revenue data for FY 2014 with data from the Census Bureau's quarterly state tax summary here.
  4. We replaced "guesstimatedlocal revenue data for FY 2014 with estimates for each category using trends for each category of state revenue between FY 2013 and FY 2014.
  5. We replaced "guesstimated" state and local spending and revenue for FY 2014 thru FY2020 with new guesstimates based on the latest Census Bureau data for FY 2013 state finances and FY 2014 quarterly tax data.
We expect the Census Bureau to release local spending and revenue data for FY 2013 not earlier than Summer 2015.

Tax links

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