Tax Growth Slows for States And Cities, U.S. Census Says

Tax revenue growth slowed for U.S. state and local governments during the first three months of 2012, showing lingering financial pressure three years after the end of the recession.

The Census Bureau said today that the collections rose 1.5 percent during the quarter from a year earlier and revenue from corporate income taxes dropped. The pace was down from 2.3 percent at the end of 2011 and 5 percent in the three months through September, according to the Census data.

States, cities and counties are still struggling to recover from an 18-month recession that battered their tax collections, forcing officials to fire workers and cut spending when deficits emerged in their budgets. The budget cutting has exerted a drag on the nation’s economic recovery, and even as tax collections grow, governments have been hesitant to increase spending.

State and local government property tax collections remained steady during the first quarter at $114.6 billion, the Census Bureau said. Localities, which rely on real estate taxes, saw them drop 0.9 percent from a year earlier to $110.7 billion.

To contact the reporter on this story: William Selway in Washington at wselway@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Merelman at smerelman@bloomberg.net

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