Census: State, local government tax collection hits all-time high

Local and state governments are collecting more tax money from individuals and businesses than ever.

The U.S. Census Bureau released Wednesday its State and Local Government Finance Summary, examining fiscal 2011 numbers. State and local governments collected a record-breaking $3.4 trillion in revenue from all sources that year.

From that figure, $2.6 trillion is considered "general revenue," which includes a record-high $1.3 trillion in tax collections.

According to the census report, several of these indicators are signs of improvement for state and local government finance, in other words, more evidence of a slowly recovering economy.

It also means more money from taxpayers -- individual income tax revenue collections went up by 9.5 percent to $284 billion in 2011. Corporate income taxes increased 10.7 percent, to $48.5 billion.

"Tax revenue increased in 2011 for the first time in 2 years, led by gains in sales and gross receipt taxes and individual income taxes," the report noted. "Additionally, unemployment compensation declined for the first time in 4 years."

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