Government revenue

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State revenue ( English state revenue , French recettes de l'Etat ) is the revenue in a state budget , in the broader sense the revenue of the public sector .


At the state level, state revenues represent a part of state finances in addition to state expenditure . The financial economy of a state deals with the financing of state tasks , in particular investments in infrastructure (such as federal motorways or federal highways , education , research and development , national defense ) or - in the context of redistribution - the payment of transfer payments such as social benefits . These expenditures must be covered as completely as possible in the federal budget by state revenues. If this does not succeed, the state has to take out loans in the form of government bonds to balance the budget .


According to Article 106, Paragraph 1 of the Basic Law, federal taxes belong to the revenue at state level, namely, in the context of alcohol taxation, the spirits tax , sparkling wine tax , intermediate product tax and alcopop tax, as well as tobacco tax and customs duties . The federal government is solely entitled to these taxes . The federal government, on the other hand, has to distribute part of the community taxes to the federal states as part of the financial equalization scheme. These include income tax , wage tax , corporation tax , sales tax and capital gains tax .

In addition to these taxes, fees , administrative income, income from the sale of assets ( sales of state holdings or state-owned land as part of privatization ), profits from state-owned companies ( Deutsche Bundesbank ), loan repayments, income from investments ( government bonds ), withdrawals from reserves or income from coins belong to the state income . Government revenues are also revenues from social security contributions and loans taken out . State revenue according to § 34 para. 1 BHO to timely and fully collect the receivables due to the federal government revenue at maturity to rise.

Similar to business administration , finance distinguishes between ordinary and extraordinary government revenues . Ordinary government revenue includes all taxes, duties and fees that can be achieved over the long term. The income from borrowing, withdrawals and privatization is extraordinary.

Tax rate

The economic tax rate provides information on how high the share of tax revenue is in the gross domestic product .

A high tax rate is often equated with extensive state redistribution as occurs in welfare states, a lack of economic incentive effects and the low attractiveness of the location due to high ancillary production costs . With a given, unchanged tax law and taxation system, the tax burden ratio is proportional to the business cycle . If the quotient is greater than 1, the elasticity of the supply increases over the course of the business cycle.

Economical meaning

State revenues are usually used to finance the community , but can also be used to some extent for uneconomical state prestige projects. In the long term, tax revenues should correspond to the level of government spending. In the short term, however, a state can deviate from this maxim for reasons of economic policy ( deficit spending ). As early as 1776, the economist Adam Smith was of the opinion that the citizens of every state should “contribute to the upkeep of the government as closely as possible in proportion to their respective abilities” and was thus considered to be the first advocate of tax justice . In his book The Prosperity of Nations , he warned against tax evasion as early as 1776, when the owner of movable capital at high taxes "brings his wealth to some other country where he can either conduct his business undisturbed or use his wealth unmolested". The higher the tax rate, the greater the risk of tax avoidance , shadow economy , tax offenses and tax evasion .

Government revenues and government spending should be to smooth the respective economic cycles anticyclically be used. More important for revenue policy are sustainably achievable income such as taxes, but not one-off effects from privatizations. The latter also do not change the net asset position of the state, because only a conversion of state holdings into money takes place.

The difference between government revenue and government expenditure is called positive or negative savings and gives the budget balance (budget surplus or deficit):

(Budget deficit)
(Budget surplus)

A budget deficit requires higher government revenues or borrowing, while a budget surplus can lead to tax cuts and higher loan repayments.

See also

Individual evidence

  1. W + G compact: E-Profil , Volume 5, 2012, p. 65
  2. Gabler Wirtschaftslexikon, Volume 4, 1984, Col. 567
  3. Jump up ↑ Adam Smith, The Prosperity of the Nations , 1776, Book 5, Chapter 26
  4. Reimut Zohlnhöfer / Kathrin Dümig, Politics and Economy , 2011, p. 92
  5. Reimut Zohlnhöfer / Kathrin Dümig, Politics and Economics , 2011, p 102