State Sales Tax Increased in US

March 12, 2010 Taxation in USA

All Prices Include Sales Tax at Makeda CoffeeThe average US state sales-tax level has risen to an 5.468 percent, the highest since records began in 1982. The number of regions opting to raise their sales taxes has also reached record highs.

The 25th annual 2009 Sales Tax Rate Report, released on March 3rd by the tax software provider Vertex, shows that in an attempt to bolster state coffers and decrease the impact of a weakened economy, the states of California, Delaware, Minnesota, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Utah, Nevada and the District of Columbia increased state sales taxes in 2009. The report shows that no decreases were seen in other states of the US in 2009. The number of states raising their sales tax levels is also the highest on record, with only 4 increases occurring in 2008 and 1 in 2007.

The state sales tax increase has placed California as the region with the highest rates, at 7.25 percent. Indiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Tennessee are ranked second equal, at 7 percent. The report has revealed that the average US county sales-tax rate remained at 1.629 percent in 2009, while the city-rate average dropped to 1.532 percent. The figures indicate that the combined average rate was 8.629 percent for the year, compared to 8.574 percent in 2008. The highest combined rate of 12 percent was seen in Arab, in Cullman County, Alabama. Higher combined rates are typically seen in tourist areas, with the New Orleans International Airport having a rate of 10.75 percent, and the Snowmass Village ski resort in Colorado holding a rate of 10.4 percent.

In an interview regarding the newest findings, John Minassian, Vice-President of Research at Vertex Inc, indicated that the sale-tax rate increases will continue throughout 2010, with 41 states reporting budgetary shortfalls and being faced with the decision of cutting state-sector services or raising taxes. In 2008 state governments reported a combined sales tax collection total of USD 450 billion, nearly two thirds of which was accounted for by state-level sales-tax. Currently, 45 states have state-level sales taxes, with Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon as the exceptions.

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