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48 of 50 states increased 2013 revenue — Utah, too

Published April 8, 2014 2:30 pm

Census report • Utah did better than average, a sign of continuing recovery.
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As a sign of continuing economic recovery, 48 of 50 states saw their tax and fee revenues increase in 2013 — including Utah.

The U.S. Census Bureau reported Tuesday that revenue by state governments increased by 6.1 percent to a record $846.2 billion that year — the third year in a row for an overall increase after tough times during and following the recession.

Utah's revenue rose by 8.9 percent, or better than average, from fiscal 2012 to 2013, according to the bureau. Its total rose from $5.8 billion to $6.3 billion, not taking into account billions in federal funding.

North Dakota had the largest increase among the states, 27.8 percent, coming mostly from increased severance taxes on oil and natural gas because of an energy boom there.

Next highest were California, 15.6 percent; Hawaii, 10.5 percent; and Colorado, 9.6 percent.

Only two states had decreases — Alaska and Wyoming — because of a decline in severance taxes there on natural resources such as oil, gas, timber and fish.

The study looks at collections on 25 subcategories of taxes and fees, from motor-fuel taxes to amusement taxes and hunting-license fees.

Among study findings was that revenue from personal-income tax in Utah rose by 15.6 percent — eighth highest among the 43 states that collect it. Of course, that tax rises as income or population increases.

Personal-income tax rose the most in North Dakota, 48.4 percent; Tennessee, 44.2 percent; California and New Hampshire, both at 21.4 percent; and Michigan, 19 percent.

It rose the least in Connecticut, 0.4 percent; Rhode Island, 1.9 percent; and Kansas, 2.2 percent.

Utah's sales-tax receipts — which increase when spending rises — rose by 1.5 percent, ranking 27th among the 45 states that impose sales tax.

The states where sales taxes rose the fastest were North Dakota, 13 percent; South Carolina, 9.3 percent; and Hawaii, 9.1 percent.

Sales tax receipts actually dropped in six states. The worst drop was in Wyoming at 6 percent, followed by West Virginia, 1.7 percent, and New Mexico, 1.1 percent.