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Basic Sources of United States Economic Statistics

Tax and Government Finance

In addition to the major sources, also see these specialized sources.  For tax rates, start with University of Michigan's World Tax Database.

Facts and Figures on Government Finance 1944-2004   Detailed federal, state, and local government revenues and outlays by type.  Published by the Tax Foundation whose website has up to date information on various areas of tax research. Historical run (ceased) is available on Hein Online.
Fiscally Standardized Cities 1977+   Allows comparisons of local government finances for over 200 of the largest U.S. cities across 115 categories of revenues, expenditures, debt, and assets.
State Tax Handbook 1969+ HJ2385.C65
Current Volume in DSS
Each state's constitutional basis for taxation and an explanation of the tax system is presented. Rates and due dates are presented for all types of income taxes and sales taxes. Published by CCH.
State Government Finances 1951+ online Summary of annual survey findings for state governments.  Presents the details of revenue by type, expenditure by object and function, indebtedness by term, and assets by purpose and type. Includes lotteries Also see the Quarterly Summary of State and Local Government Tax Revenue and Monthly state tax collections which provides data for following sales taxes; general sales, lodging, alcoholic beverages, motor fuel, tobacco products as well as individual income and corporate income taxes. Data reported for a specific month generally represent sales taxes collected on sales made during the prior month.  
State & Local Finance Data Query System (SLF-DQS) 1977-2021 online Allows flexible presentation of data from the Census of Governments State and Local Finance series. Contains detailed revenue, expenditure and debt variables for the United States, each of the 50 states, and the District of Columbia. The data are available by type of government: state, local, state and local totals, and local government detail. All data presented are state aggregates of finance data for the selected level of government.
Government Finance Database, United States 1967-2015 online

The U.S. Census Bureau distributes government finance data that some scholars have utilized, but the difficult process of collecting, interpreting, and organizing the data has led its adoption to be prohibitive and inconsistent. This study offers a single, coherent resource that contains all of the census data from 1967 through the most recent update, uses easy to understand natural-language variable names, and it will be extended when new data is available. Identical data is posted at:

The six data sets are as follows: 

  • DS #1: County Data
  • DS #2: Municipal Data
  • DS #3: School District Data
  • DS #4: Special District Data
  • DS #5: State Data
  • DS #6: Township Data
Annual Survey of State Government Finances 1992-2018 online For more see For the latest see
State Economic Development Program Expenditures Database FY2007+ online Compilation of data on state investments in economic development that uses a consistent categorization of expenses across states. Enables cross-state and time series comparisons in various economic development expense categories, including but not limited to:
  • Business attraction
  • Technology transfer
  • Workforce preparation and development
  • Business financing 2000+ online Detailed records of government procurement & spending. Can search by various geographies (including congressional district), by agency, by recipient, by type of program, and many others. Get summary data for agency expenditures by congressional district over time by clicking on the Trends tab. For detailed transactions, one can only search by one congressional district at a time; however, under the advanced search one can search by state and then there is an option to export the full detailed list of transactions to CSV, which includes details on the congressional district for both the recipient and place of performance.
State Tax Actions   1995, 1999-2001; 2003-2010 located in (DR) HJ2385.S685; 2011-2019 online. Features state-by state-details about changes in tax laws. It includes analysis of the revenue impact and implications for future state tax policy, illustrated with tables, charts and graphs. Also see the State Tax Actions Database and the State General Fund Revenue Estimates.
State Budget Actions   1995, 1999-2001, 2003-2009 located in (DR) HJ275.S69; 2013-2014, 2018 online. Based on data collected from legislative fiscal officers in all 50 states and provides an overview of state finances, focusing on state general fund budgets and selected categories of spending. 

State Tax Revolt Data Set, 1960-1992

State Tax Revolt Data Set, 1960-1992

Time-series, cross sectional data collection assembled from publicly available sources. It includes data on tax and expenditure limitation policies and selected covariates, observed annually for the 50 United States over the period of 1960-1992. Data collected at the end of the fiscal year include: (1) long-term and short-term debt of state and local governments, and (2) the total cash held by the state and its local governments. Data collected during the fiscal year include: (1) the total intergovernmental revenue from the federal government to the state and its local governments, (2) the total direct general revenue of the state and its local governments, (3) the total tax revenue of the state and its local governments, (4) total property tax revenue of the state and its local governments, (5) the total direct general expenditure of the state and its local governments, (6) the total direct general expenditure of the state and its local governments on "public welfare", (7) the total number of homeowners' associations in the state. Additional data were collected on: (1) the percentage of randomly sampled adults who said that the local property tax was "the worst tax--that is, the least fair", (2) the percentage of households in the state that were owner-occupied, the percentage of the state's population that the Census classified as "urban", (3) the estimated total personal income in the state, (4) the population of the state, (5) the estimated percentage of the state's population that was not White, (6) the estimated percentage of the state's population that was Black, (7) the total state and local spending on education during the fiscal year and, (8) the estimated number of union members as a percentage of the state's labor force.