The Tax Foundation is the nation’s leading independent tax policy research organization. Since 1937, our principled research, insightful analysis, and engaged experts have informed smarter tax policy at the federal, state, and local levels.
The Tax Foundation is the nation’s
leading independent tax policy
research organization. Since 1937,
our research, analysis, and experts
have informed smarter tax policy
at the federal, state, and local
levels. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit
©2019 Tax Foundation
Creative Commons CC-BY-NC 4.0
Editor, Rachel Shuster
Designer, Dan Carvajal
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State and Local Sales Tax Rates,
• Forty-five states and the District of Columbia collect statewide sales taxes.
• Local sales taxes are collected in 38 states. In some cases, they can rival or
even exceed state rates.
• The five states with the highest average combined state and local sales tax
rates are Tennessee and Arkansas (9.47 percent), Louisiana (9.45 percent),
Washington (9.21 percent), and Alabama (9.16 percent).
• Utah’s statewide rate increased from 5.95 percent to 6.1 percent in April
2019. No other state rates have changed since July 2018, although the
District of Columbia’s rate increased to 6 percent in October 2018.
• Sales tax rates differ by state, but sales tax bases also impact how much
revenue is collected from a tax and how the tax affects the economy.
• Sales tax rate differentials can induce consumers to shop across borders or
buy products online.
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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