State tax revenues fell 8.9 percent nationwide from fiscal year 2008 to 2009, with 45 states seeing a decline in state-level tax collections, according to a Tax Foundation analysis of new U.S. Census data.
Sixteen states saw decreases of 10 percent or more, even though some enacted tax increases: Alaska (51.9 percent), Arizona (19.7 percent), California (15.0 percent), Colorado (10.3 percent), Connecticut (12.1 percent), Florida (11.5 percent), Georgia (11.7 percent), Idaho (14.1 percent), Massachusetts (11.7 percent), New Jersey (11.9 percent), New Mexico (15.1 percent), North Carolina (10.6 percent), South Carolina (16.8 percent), Tennessee (10.0 percent), Utah (11.9 percent) and Virginia (12.8 percent).
Stable revenue is an important goal for state tax policy, and the year-to-year percentage change by tax revenue source can give us a rough idea of the volatility of certain taxes, said Tax Foundation economist Kail Padgitt, who authored the report. Corporate and individual income taxes have the greatest amount of volatility, while sales taxes tend to be more stable. Many states, however, have made their sales taxes more volatile by excluding groceries and other large areas of consumer goods and services.
From fiscal year 2008 to 2009, revenue increased in only five states: Iowa (1.3 percent), North Dakota (4.3 percent), Oregon (1.9 percent), South Dakota (0.9 percent) and Wyoming (13.9 percent).
Nationally, corporate income tax revenue declined the most, by 23.1 percent from 2008 to 2009.
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