It’s Just Beginning…..State, Local Tax Revenues Decline 7%

Posted By on December 31, 2009

“Through the first three quarters of 2009 state and local tax revenues totaled $875 billion, nearly 8% below the $951 billion collected in the first three quarters of 2008. In the same period, federal receipts were down nearly 19%.”

State, Local Tax Revenues Decline 7%

State and local tax revenues fell 7% in the third quarter of 2009 from a year ago, the Census Bureau said in a report underscoring how the economic downturn is stressing government collections.

Sales taxes declined 9% to $70 billion in the third quarter compared with the year-ago period, the Census Bureau said. Income taxes plunged 12% to about $58 billion. Together, sales and income taxes make up roughly half of state and local tax revenue.

“We expect continued weakness well into 2010 if not further,” said Lucy Dadayan, an analyst at the Rockefeller Institute of Government at the State University of New York.

Property taxes increased 3.6% in the third quarter compared with a year ago. But as property assessments catch up with falling residential and commercial real-estate values, property-tax revenues are expected to be weak. That will have a particularly severe impact on local governments, which fund much of their operations from property taxes.

“At minimum, cities will be working through the catastrophic drops in revenue for the next 18 months to two years,” said Mark Muro of the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program.

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