• States where Americans pay the most (and least) in sales taxes

    By: Craig Johnson

    Updated:

    With April 15 getting closer, many Americans have taxes on their minds. Of course, income tax is the prime focus this time of year, but something that affects our wallets on a daily basis is what we pay in sales taxes — and they can vary widely based on where you live.

    New findings from the Tax Foundation, a tax policy research group, illuminate the different sales tax burdens placed on Americans across the country. The recent report, titled the “State & Local Sales Tax Rates 2018” is organized by state and shows that where you live has a big difference on what you’re paying in taxes.

    Here’s how your state’s sales tax rate ranks

    When you combine state and local sales taxes, as of January 1, 2018 the top three states with the highest rates are all located in the South, with Louisiana coming in at #1 (10.02%) followed closely by Tennessee (9.46%) and Arkansas (9.41%).

    Five states — Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon — don’t have sales taxes (although cities in Alaska and Montana are allowed to charge local sales taxes). Check out the full list below:

    Here are states with the highest sales tax rates

    1. Louisiana (10.02%)
    2. Tennessee (9.46%)
    3. Arkansas (9.41%)
    4. Washington (9.18%)
    5. Alabama (9.10%)
    6. Oklahoma (8.91%)
    7. Illinois (8.70%)
    8. Kansas (8.68%)
    9. California (8.54%)
    10. New York (8.49%)
    11. Arizona (8.33%)
    12. Texas (8.17%)
    13. Nevada (8.14%)
    14. Missouri (8.03%)
    15. New Mexico (7.66%)
    16. Colorado (7.52%)
    17. Minnesota (7.42%)
    18. South Carolina (7.37%)
    19. Ohio (7.15%)
    20. Georgia (7.15%)
    21. Mississippi (7.07%)
    22. Indiana (7.00%)
    23. North Carolina (6.95%)
    24. Nebraska (6.89%)
    25. North Dakota (6.80%)

    Here are states with the lowest sales tax rates

    • 50. Oregon (0%)
    • 49. New Hampshire (0%)
    • 48. Delaware (0%)
    • 47. Alaska (1.76%)
    • 46. Hawaii (4.35%)
    • 45. Wisconsin (5.42%)
    • 44. Wyoming (5.46%)
    • 43. Maine (5.50%)
    • 42. D.C. (5.75%)
    • 41. Virginia (5.63%)
    • 40. Michigan (6.00%)
    • 39. Maryland (6.00%)
    • 38. Kentucky (6.00%)
    • 37. Idaho (6.03%)
    • 36. Vermont (6.18%)
    • 35. Pennsylvania (6.34%)
    • 34. Connecticut (6.35%)
    • 33. West Virginia (6.37%)
    • 32. South Dakota (6.40%)
    • 31. New Jersey (6.60%)
    • 30. Utah (6.77%)
    • 31. Florida (6.80%)
    • 30. Iowa (6.80%)
    • 29. Utah (6.77%)
    • 28. Iowa (6.80%)
    • 27. North Dakota (6.80%)

    If you’re thinking about relocating to a lower-taxing state, keep in mind that overall tax structures make choosing one state over the other an exercise in futility. “For example, Washington state has high sales taxes but no income tax, whereas Oregon has no sales tax but high income taxes,” the report says.

    Besides, businesses move for tax-saving purposes do it all time, the report brings out.

    “At the statewide level, businesses sometimes locate just outside the borders of high sales tax areas to avoid being subjected to their rates,” a summary of the report says. “A stark example of this occurs in New England, where even though I-91 runs up the Vermont side of the Connecticut River, many more retail establishments choose to locate on the New Hampshire side to avoid sales taxes.”

    RELATED: Free state & federal tax filing options for 2018

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