March 16, 2011

Facts & Figures 2011: How Does Your State Compare?

We have released the 2011 version of Facts & Figures: How Does Your State Compare?, a popular pocket-sized booklet comparing the 50 states on 32 different measures of taxation and spending, including individual and corporate income tax rates, business tax climates, excise taxes, tax burdens and state spending

Every year we send Facts & Figures free of charge to all state legislators, and many of them request extra copies and tell us how useful the booklet is. We believe it’s vital for the people who make the laws to understand the level and impact of taxation. From our founding in 1937, the Tax Foundation has been grounded in the belief that the dissemination of basic information about government finance is the foundation of sound policy in a free society. We can afford to print and mail these booklets free of charge to policymakers only because of the generosity of our donors. As a nonprofit, we rely on the support of those who find our information useful and want to help us educate others about sound tax policy.

A tax is a mandatory payment or charge collected by local, state, and national governments from individuals or businesses to cover the costs of general government services, goods, and activities.

An excise tax is a tax imposed on a specific good or activity. Excise taxes are commonly levied on cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, soda, gasoline, insurance premiums, amusement activities, and betting, and typically make up a relatively small and volatile portion of state and local and, to a lesser extent, federal tax collections.