State Government Revenue in 2008

December 16, 2009

New Census data show 2008 spending and revenue for state governments and reveal revenue areas where states have lost most:

State governments took in nearly $1.7 trillion in total revenues in fiscal year 2008, a 15.8 percent decrease from 2007, according to new data on state government finances released by the U.S. Census Bureau. The largest share of those revenues came from taxes ($780.7 billion), which made up 46.5 percent. The decline was primarily because of a decrease in insurance trust revenue, which fell by $377.7 billion (72.7 percent).

Insurance trust systems are comprised of public employee retirement systems, the unemployment compensation system, state government workers’ compensation programs and other state social insurance trusts.

Pension promises recently have been trouble for several states whose funds either bet wrong or lost with the rest of the country. For example, the Pittsburgh tuition tax—which will be voted on this week—is a result of the city trying to fulfill its pension promises. State governments have been strained under their own weight and the effects of this will likely continue.

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