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Project Note No. 28 Major State Taxes 1939 and 1950

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This study analyzes the major state taxA 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. yields and rates during the past decade. It also sheds some light on the extent to which increased yields of the state sales, income, and other taxes reflect shifts in tax burdens. Seven major state taxes have been selected for study–the four major excise taxAn 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. es (general sales, alcoholic beverage, tobacco and motor fuel), the income taxes (corporate and individual) and the motor vehicle tax.

Receipts from these taxes constituted 70 percent of all state tax collections, excluding unemployment compensation taxes, in 1939 and 77 percent of the 1950 total. (See Table ig).