How States Raise Their Tax Dollars

FY 2020

Taxes make up about half of state government revenue, with two-thirds of states’ total tax dollars coming from levies on personal income (36.5%) and general sales of goods and services (32.2%).

Broad-based personal income taxes are the greatest source of tax dollars in 29 of the 41 states that impose them, with the highest share—67.6%—in Oregon. General sales taxes are the largest source in 16 of the 45 states that collect them. Texas is the most reliant on these taxes, at 63%. Other sources bring in the most tax revenue in a handful of states: severance taxes in Alaska and North Dakota; property taxes in Vermont; license taxes and fees, such as franchise taxes that companies pay to incorporate in a state, in Delaware; and selective sales taxes on particular goods and services, such as tobacco and hotel rooms, in New Hampshire.

This infographic illustrates the sources of each state’s tax revenue.

Mix of Tax Sources by State, FY 2020

Select revenue sources below to highlight them and resort the chart:

Personal income
General sales
Selective sales
Licenses
Corporate income
Property
Severance
Other
0%25%50%75%100%0%25%50%75%100%

Note: Unlike 41 states with broad-based personal income taxes, New Hampshire only taxes certain dividend and interest income. A similar tax was in place in Tennessee in FY 2020 but has been fully phased out as of Jan. 1, 2021.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 Annual Survey of State Government Tax Collections

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