Chelan-Douglas Trends e-Newsletter


Taxes graphic

Curious to know how much the state is spending on college education? Parks? Public health and safety? State and local governments have responded to the demand for transparency by posting more and more information online; however, people with a strong background in internet research were the only ones able to find that information - until now.

The State and Local Government Snapshot is the most comprehensive and compact view of local government data spanning across the U.S. The tool, created by the U.S. Census Bureau, is a nifty innovation allowing an average American the ability to evaluate the decisions made by our elected representatives on how they are collecting and spending tax dollars.

Digging into the tool, you quickly see that the data available includes all 50 states and can be switched from: only local government, only state government, or a combination of both state and local government. Variables include a variety, such as employment of local and government sectors, expenditures cation, health & welfare, public safety, etc.) and for revenues (property tax, sales tax, utilities, etc.).

Digging even deeper into one of the options - property tax revenue for all local and state governments combined in Washington State, you can read that the 2015 total was $10.1 billion. Digging deeper yet, looking at the per capita property tax revenues during 2015, you learn that Washington came in at $1,411, compared to $1,457 in California, $1,510 in Montana, $1,406 in Oregon, and $965 in Idaho. In sum, state and local government revenue in Washington State during 2015 was about $73.6 billion and nearly $3.1 trillion in all of the U.S.

This is but one example that is available from the U.S. Census State & Local Government Snapshot. After a few minutes of changing a few dropdown menus and highlighting different information tabs, you will know a lot more about tax revenues and expenditures - and have fun doing so!