USA Today reports that state and local governments now receive more money from the federal government than from their own taxpayers.
The sales tax had been the No. 1 source of state and local revenue since the mid-1970s, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Before that, property taxes were the primary source. That changed in the first three months of 2009.
Federal grants — early stimulus money plus conventional federal aid — soared 15% in the first quarter to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $437 billion, eclipsing sales taxes, which fell 2%.
The dominance of federal money is set to expand dramatically this year because tax collections are sinking while the bulk of federal stimulus aid is just starting to arrive.