Washingtonians know that sales taxes are high here. We don’t have an income tax and most voters don’t want one. It comes almost as a surprise to find that the sales tax here, according to the Tax Foundation, ranks only fifth in the nation.
The five states with the highest average combined state and local sales tax rates are Tennessee (9.53 percent), Louisiana (9.52 percent), Arkansas (9.47 percent), Washington (9.21 percent), and Alabama (9.22 percent).
California, with its famously progressive income tax, has the nation’s highest state sales tax rate. Washington doesn’t make the top 5.
California has the highest state-level sales tax rate, at 7.25 percent. Four states tie for the second-highest statewide rate, at 7 percent: Indiana, Mississippi, Rhode Island, and Tennessee.
We also don’t crack the top 5 for local rates.
The five states with the highest average local sales tax rates are Alabama (5.22 percent), Louisiana (5.07 percent), Colorado (4.75 percent), New York (4.52 percent), and Oklahoma (4.44 percent).
It’s the combination that puts us fifth.
The Tax Foundation finds some nice things to say about sales taxes.
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.
We thought you’d be interested.