A report released Monday by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center (TPC) shows that states and the District of Columbia have received an estimated $15 billion in taxpayer funding over the past two years.
The Tax Foundation, which publishes the Tax Foundation Factbook, said the state and local tax credits totaled $6.5 billion in 2018.
This is nearly double the $2.3 billion in federal tax breaks the states received in 2018 and $3.6 million in federal stimulus funding that they received in 2017.
TPC said the tax credits and stimulus funds were offset by the federal government’s other $6 billion funding, which was used to cover the cost of a variety of other items including unemployment compensation, health insurance subsidies, unemployment insurance and the Earned Income Tax Credit.
TFC President and CEO Robert Erikson called the TPC report a “watershed” moment for federal spending, pointing out that states have spent more money in the past five years than they did in the entire prior decade.
TTC President and Chief Economist Steven Cauthen noted that the TFC estimates are based on the most recent data available from the Tax Policy Institute, which has been tracking the size and type of federal tax and economic policy.
He said the latest TPC study shows that the amount of tax breaks and stimulus spending has continued to grow, which is “particularly noteworthy considering the economy has been slowing for the past year or so.”
The TPC’s findings are important because they provide an estimate of how much of the $15 trillion in tax relief and stimulus dollars that states received was spent in their states.
“We need to be more mindful of the impact of tax policy on the lives of families and the health of the nation,” TPC President and President and Executive Director Steve Rosenthal said in a statement.
“If states want to invest in our economy and create jobs, they need to start investing in their people and communities, not tax cuts and tax cuts for corporations.”
Read more about the Taxpayer Relief and Stimulus Package.