Tax collections by the states

An interactive visualization of tax collections by state governments.

Each year the United States Census Bureau collects data from the states regarding tax collections in various categories. I present this data in an interactive visualization.

From this data we can see a number of valuable comparisons. For example, it is often said in Kansas that we can’t eliminate our income tax as has Texas, because we don’t have as much oil severance tax revenue. From the data we see that Texas collected $84 per person in severance tax, while Kansas collected $17 per person. This difference is far larger than the difference in total tax collections between these states.

Similarly, when comparing Kansas to Florida — which like Texas has no income tax — the large amount of tourism in Florida is said to generate enough revenue to allow zero income tax. But, in 2016 Florida collected $1,081 per person in sales tax, while Kansas collected $1,115 per person. Florida does not collect sales tax on groceries, so it may be that visitors pay more of the sales tax burden. But, Kansas still collects more sales tax on a per-capita basis, and Kansas collects much more tax in total than Florida, again on a per-capita basis.

Click here to learn more and access the visualization.

Example from the visualization. Click for larger.

2 thoughts on “Tax collections by the states”

  1. I’m not defending taxation, because Taxation is Theft, but wouldn’t it stand to reason that the bigger the state, the fewer the taxes per captia? At some point, you still need the basics (streets, sewers, etc). But your basics go further with more people with you’re more densely populated. Just a thought…

  2. Nick Mallure: not really, because the biggest state expenditures are not streets, sewers, etc. but rather 1) public education and 2) Medicaid, both of which are funded per person.

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