$374,793,000,000: Sales Taxes Hit Record in 2016

By Terence P. Jeffrey | March 30, 2017 | 10:52 AM EDT

(NIH Photo/Peter Branson)

(CNSNews.com) - Americans paid a record $374,793,000,000 in general sales and gross receipt taxes to state and local governments in fiscal 2016, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

That was up $1,535,980,000—or about 0.4 percent—from the $373,257,020,000 in general sales and gross receipt taxes (in constant 2016 dollars) that state and local governments collected in fiscal 2015.

Fiscal 2016 was the third year in a row that general sales and gross receipt taxes set a record.

Prior to fiscal 2014, when general sales and gross receipt taxes hit a then-record $356,969,050,000 (in constant 2016 dollars), the peak year for general sales and gross receipt taxes had been fiscal 2007, when state and local governments collected $353,205,000,000 in these taxes.

In fiscal 2008, 2009 and 2010, sales and gross receipt tax collections declined. Then, in fiscal 2011, they started climbing again.

The nationwide total for general sales and gross receipt taxes collected by state and local governments in fiscal 2016 was released last week with the Census Bureau’s “Quarterly Summary of State and Local Government Tax Revenue for 2016: Q4.

The fiscal year 2016 that the Census Bureau references in this data is the year that runs from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016. That is because most states end their fiscal years on June 30.

The Census Bureau defines “general sales or gross receipt taxes” as “sales or gross receipts taxes which are applicable with only specified exceptions to all types of goods and services, or all gross income, whether at a single rate or classified rates.”

According to the Census Bureau, “general sales or gross receipt taxes” do not include what it calls “selective sales taxes,” which include taxes imposed on items such as alcoholic beverages, amusements, insurance, motor fuels, and tobacco products.

Although total inflation-adjusted general sales and gross receipt taxes hit a record of $374,793,000,000 in fiscal 2016, inflation-adjusted per capita general sales and gross receipt taxes hit their peak in fiscal 2006.

That year, state and local governments collected $353,040,060,000 (in 2016 dollars) in general sales and gross receipt taxes, which equaled approximately $1,183 for every one of the 298,379,912 men, women and children the Census Bureau estimated were residing in the United States as of July 1, 2006.

The record $374,793,000,000 in total general sales and gross receipts taxes that state and local governments collected in fiscal 2016 equaled approximately $1,160 for every one of the 323,127,513 men, women and children the Census Bureau estimated were residing in the United States as of July 1, 2016.

As CNSNews.com previously reported, state and local governments also collected a record $540,701,000,000 in property taxes in fiscal 2016. That equaled approximately $1,673 for every one of the 323,127,513 men, women and children in the United States as of July 1, 2016.

The combined record total of $915,494,000,000 in property and general sales and gross receipts taxes that state and local governments collected in fiscal 2016 equaled approximately $2,833 for every man, women in child residing in the United States as of last July 1.

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