Tax Foundation: State and Local Sales Tax Rates, Midyear 2016

The Tax Foundation has released their “State and Local Sales Tax Rates, Midyear 2016” report. This from Betsy Russell

The Tax Foundation has released a new comparison of state and local sales taxes by state, and Idaho’s ranks at the lower end, 37th highest. The foundation calculated Idaho’s combined state and local sales tax rates, on average, at 6.03 percent; Idaho’s 6 percent sales tax is statewide, and it has very few local sales taxes, mainly limited to small resort communities. By comparison, the top rates were Louisiana, 9.99 percent; Tennessee, 9.45 percent; Arkansas, 9.3 percent; Alabama, 8.97 percent; and Washington, 8.92 percent.

Forty-five states and the District of Columbia charge sales tax statewide; the five that don’t are Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon. However, the foundation’s survey notes that Alaska and Montana allow local sales taxes. California has the highest statewide sales tax rate at 7.5 percent, but Louisiana has the highest average local sales tax rate of 4.99 percent, which combined with its 5 percent state sales tax, boosted it to highest in the nation.

“Sales taxes are just one part of an overall tax structure and should be considered in context,” the report states. “For example, Washington State has high sales taxes but no income tax, whereas Oregon has no sales tax but high income taxes.