State and Local Sales Tax Rates, Midyear 2020
From Tax Foundation July 8, 2020 (excerpts)
Retail sales taxes are one of the more transparent ways to collect tax revenue. While graduated income tax rates and brackets are complex and confusing to many taxpayers, sales taxes are easier to understand; consumers can see their tax burden printed directly on their receipts.
In addition to state-level sales taxes, consumers also face local sales taxes in 38 states. These rates can be substantial, so a state with a moderate statewide sales tax rate could actually have a very high combined state and local rate compared to other states. This report provides a population-weighted average of local sales taxes as of July 1, 2020, to give a sense of the average local rate for each state….
Five states do not have statewide sales taxes: Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon. Of these, Alaska allows localities to charge local sales taxes.
The five states with the highest average combined state and local sales tax rates are Tennessee (9.55 percent), Arkansas (9.53 percent), Louisiana (9.52 percent), Washington (9.23 percent), and Alabama (9.22 percent). The five states with the lowest average combined rates are Alaska (1.76 percent), Hawaii (4.44 percent), Wyoming (5.34 percent), Wisconsin (5.43 percent), and Maine (5.50 percent)….
The sales taxes in Hawaii, New Mexico, and South Dakota have broad bases that include many business-to-business services….
The sales taxes in Hawaii and South Dakota have bases that include many services and so are not strictly comparable to other sales taxes….
Hawaii has the broadest sales tax in the United States, but it taxes many products multiple times and, by one estimate, ultimately taxes 105 percent of the state’s personal income. This base is far wider than the national median, where the sales tax applies to 34.25 percent of personal income.
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