State and local governments brought in 22.1 percent less revenue in 2009 than in the previous year, according to a report from the U.S. Census Bureau. Also, most tax revenue categories saw declines except property tax, which saw a 3.7 percent increase to $424 billion.

In 2009, state and local governments brought in nearly $2.1 trillion, $587.5 billion less than 2008, according to the Census Bureau's 2009 Annual Surveys of State and Local Government Finances. The surveys include statistics on revenues (including taxes), expenditures, debt and assets (cash and security holdings) for state and local governments.

Other findings from the surveys include:

• The amount of revenue state and local governments received from the federal government increased 12.3 percent from $478 billion to $536.8 billion between 2008 and 2009.
• Spending increased 4.6 percent for state and local governments, totaling almost $3 trillion in 2009. Education continued to be the largest expense ($850.7 billion), followed by public welfare, which consists of assistance to needy people ($431.1 billion) and insurance trusts ($275.5 billion).
• Debt outstanding for state and local governments increased $131.1 billion (5.1 percent) to $2.7 trillion in 2009.
• State and local spending on education comprised more than 33 percent of expenditures in nine states (Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, New Jersey, Texas, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia). Elementary and secondary education totaled more than 24 percent of spending in New Jersey (25.8 percent) and Georgia (24.3 percent). Maine led the nation in state and local government spending on public welfare as a percentage of total spending (24.1 percent).
• For local governments, property tax revenue was up 3.7 percent to $411 billion. Public welfare spending increased 2.1 percent for local governments, led by vendor payments (payments to private vendors for medical care, hospital care, and other goods and services provided to needy people), which jumped 11.5 percent to $6.3 billion in 2009. Spending on utilities increased 6.4 percent, led by transit spending, which increased 13.8 percent.

Read the entire press release on the 2009 Annual Surveys of State and Local Government Finances.

Related Stories