Consumers in Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, Washington, and Oklahoma are shouldering heavier combined state and average local sales tax rates than consumers in other states, according to a new study by the nonpartisan Tax Foundation. Additionally, the report indicates that Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, Wisconsin, and Wyoming have the lowest combined rates, and details the changes Virginia, Arkansas, Arizona, Kansas, and the District of Columbia have made to their sales taxes in 2013.
“Sales taxes are one of the most easily understood taxes because every time a consumer makes a purchase, they can see the rate on the receipt” says Tax Foundation economist Scott Drenkard. “Our comprehensive analysis addresses the fact that 38 states allow local governments to levy sales taxes within their jurisdiction.
Five states do not have a statewide sales tax: Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon. Of these, Alaska and Montana allow local leaders to charge local sales taxes.
The five states with the highest average combined rates are Tennessee (9.44 percent), Arkansas (9.18 percent), Louisiana (8.89 percent), Washington (8.87 percent), and Oklahoma (8.72 percent). The five states with the lowest average combined rates are Alaska (1.69 percent), Hawaii (4.35 percent), Maine (5 percent), and Wisconsin (5.43 percent), Wyoming (5.50 percent).
The good news for Tennesseans is the government this year reduced the sales tax on groceries. The bill reduces the current tax from 5.25 percent to five percent.
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