For those interested in seeing the sources from where the fifty states raise revenue-or at least where they did in 2011-the Census Bureau’s page on "State Government Tax Collections" has a wealth of information. It shows that for last year the states combined collected $757.2 billion in revenue from sales, income, licenses, and other levies.
Close to half of that amount came from sales taxes: $365.9 billion nationally. That amount was split between general sales taxes ($234.4 billion, or 64% of the total) and taxes on specific or selective categories ($131.4 billion, or 36%).
Pennsylvania reported collections of $16.7 billion from sales taxes: $8.9 billion, or 53% came from general sales and $7.8 billion (47%) came from selective sales. Of the eight subcategories of selective sales (alcohol, amusements, insurance premiums, and five others) the Commonwealth reported revenue in each.
Only five states-Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon-identified as not levying a general sales tax.
Subsequent blogs will look at state income taxes and where Pennsylvania will fit with the new well assessment fee.