U.S. Census Bureau: State government revenues decline 31 percent
Total state government revenue dropped to $1.1 trillion in 2009, a decline of 30.8 percent from $1.6 trillion in 2008, according to the latest findings from the U.S. Census Bureau. The large decrease in total revenue was mainly caused by the substantial decrease in social insurance trust revenue, which includes public employee retirement, unemployment compensation, workers compensation and other insurance trusts.
State governments received nearly $1.5 trillion in general revenues in 2009, a decrease of 1.4 percent from 2008. Total taxes collected in 2009 ($715.1 billion), which accounted for 47.9 percent of general revenue, fell by 8.5 percent from $781.6 billion in 2008. This is the first year-to-year decline in tax revenue since 2002.
Other findings from the Census Bureau include:
· General expenditures by state governments rose 3 percent in 2009 over 2008. Those expenditures totaled more than $1.5 trillion, with expenditures for education ($562.1 billion), public welfare ($437.5 billion), and health and hospitals ($119.1 billion) representing the top three activities.
· State government spending on education totaled more than 40 percent of general expenditures in 15 states, led by Georgia (46.1 percent), Utah (45.6 percent) and Alabama (45.3 percent).
· State government spending on public welfare was greater than 30 percent of general expenditures in 11 states, led by Minnesota (37.5 percent), Rhode Island (36.5 percent) and Maine (36.1 percent).
· The leading states in spending for highways, as a percentage of general expenditures, were Alaska (13.5 percent), North Dakota (13.4 percent) and South Dakota (12.9 percent).
· Hawaii (12.3 percent) led the states in spending on public health and hospitals as a percentage of general expenditures, followed by Connecticut (11.4 percent) and Virginia (10.9 percent).
Read more from the Census Bureau’s latest data on state revenue.