According to recently released data from the U.S. Census Bureau, total state tax revenue hit a 25 year high in the second quarter of 2013, totaling $259.6 billion – a 9.4 percent increase over the same quarter in 2012.

According to a recent Stateline Article the uncertainty from the federal government’s inability to reach a budget deal is starting to anxiety for the states in anticipation of a second round of sequester.  About 30 percent of a state’s revenue is from the federal government. 90 percent of that federal money comes in the form of grants. Three-fourths of those grants are subject to potential sequestration according to the Federal Funds Information for the States.

Only six states—Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada and Utah—don’t have a state lottery. Alabama House Minority Leader Craig Ford wants to change that, and he thinks he has the support of the majority of Alabamans.

In March 2013, Wyoming became the 44th state to legalize the operation of a state lottery. Lottery sales across all states totaled nearly $69 billion in 2012, with profits of more than $19 billion. Most states use at least some of that revenue to fund education and 17 states mandate that revenue be used exclusively for this purpose.

Cigarette taxes are a means both to raise state revenue and to discourage the use of tobacco. Cigarette taxes range significantly across states, as does the amount of revenue collected on such taxes. Revenues from state taxes on tobacco totaled more than $17 billion in 2012, representing 2.2 percent of all state tax revenue. 

Stateline Midwest ~ June 2013

When Wisconsinites went to the polls in 1908, they had tax reform on their minds. The existing state revenue system was perceived by many as being unfair, and reformers, including former Gov. Robert “Fighting Bob” La Follette, had been calling for change for years. And so, by a margin of better than two-to-one, voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment that paved the way for the nation’s first modern state income tax.

A century later, the Wisconsin income tax stands out as a landmark in the evolution of state revenue systems, but the idea of taxing earnings was not new at the time. 

Wyoming's legalization of a state lottery in March 2013 made it the 44th state with such a lottery. While Hawaii and Utah continue to ban all forms of gambling, the other states without lotteries (Alabama, Alaska, Mississippi, and Nevada) profit from casinos and other forms of gambling, but have yet to cash in on lottery revenues which totaled more than $19 billion last year.

States could gain more than $12 billion in tax revenue if the U.S. House of Representatives follows the Senate lead and passes the Marketplace Fairness Act. The legislation, passed by the Senate Monday, makes it easier for states to collect sales taxes for online purchases.

On Friday, the U.S. Senate invoked cloture on the Marketplace Fairness Act and set May 6th as the day that the Senate will take final action. The Act would allow states to require all out-of-state sellers not qualifying for a small-seller exception to collect sales and use taxes.


Stateline Midwest ~ December 2012

Concerned about the condition of the state’s parks, Illinois lawmakers voted in November to boost funding for the system through a $2 increase in license-plate fees.