Skip to main content

The FRED® Blog

Where do states get their tax revenue?

Income, sales, fuel, corporate, property, license, tobacco, alcohol...


State governments run on tax revenue in much the same way the federal government does. The FRED graph above shows the specific shares of state tax revenue from many sources. The two major sources are sales tax and individual income tax. While there’s a clear seasonal pattern (mostly from income taxes), there are no strong trends: The shares seem rather stable. If we look a little more closely, though, we can see a shift from corporate income tax to individual income tax and a decrease in motor fuel tax revenue. Granted, it’s not perfectly clear unless you look at the numbers directly. So, if you’re using a mouse, hover over the graph to reveal the values for each series for a particular date, including the percentages. Given the seasonal pattern, it’s best to compare the same quarter over several years—say, the yearly peaks in the second quarter.

How this graph was created: From the release table on State and Local Tax Revenue, click on “national totals of state government tax revenue,” select the quarterly taxes, and click on “Add to Graph.” From the “Edit Graph” panel, open the “Format” tab, select graph type “Area” and stacking “Percent.”

Suggested by Christian Zimmermann.

View on FRED, series used in this post: QTAXT01QTAXCAT2USNO, QTAXT09QTAXCAT2USNO, QTAXT10QTAXCAT2USNO, QTAXT13QTAXCAT2USNO, QTAXT16QTAXCAT2USNO, QTAXT24T25QTAXCAT2USNO, QTAXT40QTAXCAT2USNO, QTAXT41QTAXCAT2USNO


Subscribe to the FRED newsletter


Follow us

Twitter logo Google Plus logo Facebook logo YouTube logo LinkedIn logo
Back to Top