commission on fiscal imbalance 合集

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Unformatted text preview: median sales tax rate has risen from 3.25 percent to 5 percent during the past several decades. The sales tax has fallen relative to the income tax, and been approximately able to maintain its revenue share, only because of these rate increases. TABLE 6 DISTRIBUTION OF PROPERTY TAX COLLECTIONS Federal 1902 1913 1922 1927 1934 1940 1946 1952 1957 1962 1967 1972 1977 1982 1987 1992 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 State Local – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 11.6 10.5 10.5 7.8 6.7 5.9 5.0 4.3 3.7 3.4 3.3 2.9 3.6 3.8 3.8 4.1 4.3 4.7 4.8 4.7 4.6 88.4 89.5 89.5 92.2 93.3 94.1 95.0 95.7 96.3 96.6 96.7 97.1 96.4 96.2 96.2 95.9 95.7 95.3 95.2 95.3 95.4 Second, there has been a slight increase in the share of local revenues raised from sales and income taxes. Thirty-four states allow local governments to impose sales taxes. Most local governments are granted some control over the rate (and in a few cases the base) though a few states impose a rate on behalf of local governments. Local governments are also using income taxes more, with 15 states permitting local governments to levy such taxes. The income tax base is often limited to wages. Use of sales and income taxes provides some revenue diversification for local governments, but the property tax continues to be a very dominant revenue source, generating 72.9 percent of local tax revenues. Local governments own nearly all property tax revenues as this source provides a little revenue for a small set of states and represents about 5 percent of total property tax revenues (Table 6). 3.3. Revenue Conclusion The relative increase in state/local revenues suggests devolution is occurring. This conclusion must be tempered for several reasons. First, no shift from federal revenue to state revenue has occurred. Instead, government revenue has risen as a share of the economy, and the increase has been at the state/local level. Second, much of the pressure on states to raise additional revenues has come from the need to match intergovernmental transfers from the federal government, as is described more below. States have found it necessary to match rapidly rising federal programs, such as Medicaid (health care for the low-income population). Third, federal control over state/local revenue sources is growing. Simply, the justifications for decentralization are almost entirely on the expenditure side of government, and most revenues are more easily collected at the national level. The federal government could assist sub-national governments in collection of revenues but has been hesitant to so far. Indeed, the general direction has been towards federal limitations on state actions. Examples include the Internet Tax Freedom Act that placed a moratorium on the ability to impose sales taxes on access to the internet, federal preemption of local taxes on direct broadcast services, and federal limitation on state taxes on interstate travel. Benefits in operation of the U.S. economy may merit su...
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