October 1, 1999

State and Local Property Tax Collections

Download Special Report No. 91

PLEASE DO NOT CITE—AN UPDATED VERSION OF THIS STUDY IS AVAILABLE. Visit https://taxfoundation.org/tax-topics/state-tax-and-spending-policy.

Special Report No. 91

Executive Summary In 1999, state and local governments across the United States will collect an estimated $232 billion in property taxes. Approximately 95 percent of this total, $221 billion, will be collected by local government units including counties, cities, and school districts.

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.

A property tax is primarily levied on immovable property like land and buildings, as well as on tangible personal property that is movable, like vehicles and equipment. Property taxes are the single largest source of state and local revenue in the U.S. and help fund schools, roads, police, and other services.