Federal and state governments provide many services and collect vast amounts of revenue through taxes and fees. In fiscal year 2006 the federal government collected $2.4 trillion in revenue and the 50 state governments together collected $966 billion in taxes and fees.
What often get less attention are the 89,476 local government units operating in the United States, which together collected $768 billion in fiscal year 2006. That amounts to an average of one local government entity for every 3,367 people in the country.
These governments include everything from counties, towns and townships, to the less prominent cemetery, sewerage, and mosquito control districts. Each of these local government entities receives its own funding through the levying of taxes and fees. Provided here are some data and statistics dealing with these important and often overlooked state and local government entities.
A new paper on wealth inequality from economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman – who have written frequently on the subject – was released earlier this month. This paper is far better than previous attempts to measure...