First Quarter State Revenue

June 7, 2010

The Economix blog picks up a Rockefeller Institute report on the state of state revenue:

State revenues rose in the first quarter of this year, largely because two states raised a lot of money through tax hikes, according to the Rockefeller Institute of Government:

State tax revenue increased nominally by 2.4 percent in the first quarter of this year, compared with the same period last year. The overall number was skewed, though, by legislated tax increases in New York and California. New York’s revenues rose by 15.8 percent, and California’s 19.1 percent, year over year.

Map: Rockefeller Institute

From the Rockefellar Institute paper:

Despite the growth in overall tax collections for the nation, total tax revenue collections declined in 34 of the 49 states for which comparable, early data are available. In terms of dollars, California and New York reported the largest increases in total tax collections in the first quarter of 2010. California’s collections rose by $3.2 billion, or 19.1 percent, while in New York revenues increased by $2.3 billion, or 15.8 percent. In both states revenue growth is largely attributable to legislated changes. If we exclude California and New York from the nation, total tax collections show a 2.2 percent decline for the nation in the first quarter of 2010.

Were the limited gains in tax revenue—largely concentrated in California and New York—a result of economic rebound? Hardly. It seems mostly the result of tax increases as state governments attempt to tax their way out of recession and to better budgets.

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