State and Local Tax Policy: What are the sources of revenue for local governments?
Local governments collected general revenues totaling over $1.4 trillion in 2010. A little less than 40 percent of that revenue came as transfers from federal and state governments. The remainder came from local taxes, fees, and miscellaneous receipts.
- Local governments received about $544 billion in intergovernmental transfers in 2010, which accounted for 38 percent of their general revenues.
- Property taxes constituted the largest source of local governments’ own revenue in 2010, totaling $430 billion, or 30 percent of general revenues.
- Charges and miscellaneous receipts accounted for 23 percent, or $323 billion, of local government revenues in 2010.
- Sales and gross receipts taxes, individual income taxes, and other revenues made up the remaining 10 percent of local general revenues, yielding a little over $140 billion in 2010.
The Numbers: What is the breakdown of tax revenues among federal, state, and local governments?
State and Local Tax Policy: What are the sources of revenue for state governments?
U.S. Census Bureau, "State and Local Government Finances"
Local General Revenue, by Source, 2010, Tax Policy Center Tax Facts
Brunori, David, Local Tax Policy: A Federalist Perspective, Second Edition (Washington, D.C.: Urban Institute Press, 2007).
Author: Roberton Williams and Yuri Shadunsky
Last Updated: May 7, 2013