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Authority of states to tax the insurance companies they regulate. States levy income taxes, real and personal property taxes, and special levies, the most important of which is a premium tax in effect, a sales tax on premiums. Although it is generally 2% of premiums, some states tax as much as 4%. Insurers also pay franchise taxes, licensing fees, and special charges. Insurance taxes are an important source of revenue for the states, amounting to several billion dollars a year.