Talk:Sales taxes in the United States

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VAT, Imports, Trade Deficits[edit]

VAT (value added tax) should not be implemented by the United States. I know the VAT is to help raise tax revenue and lower over consumption by Americans. However, U.S. is trying create a tariff that won’t reduce trade deficits. The states should be the ones to levy such actions. I suggest a multi-tiered sales tax structure that would encourage local, state and federal consumption and discourages foreign imports. Of course, exemptions for food and energy will have to be factored in. The current sales tax in Arkansas is 6.25 percent for everything. City and County varies. Under the new plan the state tax could be as high 12 percent. However, the highest percent would be for products made 100 percent overseas.

State sales tax structure…

  • 12% On imports (100 percent outside the US)
  • 8% On all other imports 60% -99.9% made outside the US.
  • 5.5% Domestic products
  • 4.00% For domestic goods made in Arkansas.

You could even take this further to the local level; however, adding three new sales tax brackets is enough. Overall, Americans will never buy what supports American jobs unless it is beneficial to them at the moment. (like saving money) I am just as guilty of buying cheap plastic crap from China. And would I bitch if the U.S. government tried to instate a VAT tax. However, I would complain less to this tax structure because it's so geared to U.S. jobs. But I would in the short term pay more in taxes. Any suggestions?

While we are interested in your views on this subject, this is not the correct forum for them.
According to the talk page guidelines, "The purpose of a Wikipedia talk page (accessible via the talk or discussion tab) is to provide space for editors to discuss changes to its associated article or project page. Article talk pages should not be used by editors as platforms for their personal views on a subject."
If you are still a reader of this talk page, would you mind removing it? Thanks! (talk) 01:23, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

Needs Updates[edit]

The section on Chicago sales taxes that says it is not 10.5% as of July 1st has a reference to #63, which is unrelated to what is being said. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:53, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

According to a friend who lives in Washington, this page is not accurate, and requires overhaul and updates. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:10, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

Likely true - Please edit it if you find any errors. This article is a difficult one to keep up to date - in many cases, we rely on editors from each state to notice changes in the tax code and make the needed changes in the article. Morphh (talk) 13:01, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

I live in Washington state and this reference is not even close to accurate. 6.5 percent? I wish! Try more like 9.5%!

If you see something that's not accurate then make the corrections and cite your source for the correct data. Marc Kupper (talk) (contribs) 21:58, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
I have initiated work on overhauling this section. Broad tax changes take effect on December 2, 2010. I'll finish things up as quick as I can.Toropop (talk) 13:14, 27 November 2010 (UTC)
Re: "As of December 2, 2010, sales taxes cannot be applied to unprepared food items," I just got off the phone with DOR (12/29/2010) asking about why bananas were taxed at convenience stores and Starbucks. The representative said that if 75% of their sales are prepared food and/or(?) otherwise taxable, then all of their food is taxable. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pbackstrom (talkcontribs) 22:28, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

Some one may want to double-check the Illinois entry. Sales tax in much of the city of Chicago/Cook County today is a whopping 11.5%. It was raised from 10.25% on July 1, I think. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:52, 13 July 2008 (UTC)

"There is no New York City sales tax imposed on the purchase of clothing and footwear regardless of the amount." This has been repealed by NYS DTF Notice N-09-12. Breukelen (talk) 20:41, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

          • Constitutionality

How do states get around Article 1, Section 9 [No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State] of the Constitution? I guess that would depend on what the definition of exported is?

My guess would be that it was written to keep states from imposing a tariff on goods sent from another state. So California,for instance,couldn't protect it's own merchants by taxing imports from Nevada etc. (talk) 01:24, 12 September 2011 (UTC)
The states don't "get around" that provision. State taxes have been struck down for it. See, e.g., Richfield oil Corp. v. State Board of Equalization, 329 US 69 (1946), whick struck down a Calaifornia sales tax on exported oil. Oldtaxguy (talk) 23:52, 12 September 2011 (UTC)

Out-of-state tax[edit]

When you place an order with a company in another state, which tax is applied? -- 17:30, 26 September 2005 (UTC)

Neither. There's no federal sales tax, and sales tax in one state does not affect citizens or companies in another. Hence TV ads often say "(State name) residents add (number)% sales tax"; they are required to pay sales tax (if applicable) when selling to residents of their state. However, if a company has facilities in more than one state - e.g. your headquarters are in New York but you have an office or factory in California - the tax would apply for each of those states, I think. I'm mainly adding this so I remember when/if I expand the article, and so someone can refute me if I'm wrong. --Vedek Dukat Talk 22:22, 23 December 2005 (UTC)
This agrees with my experience. In writing a computer program with a sales tax module for Nike (an Oregon company), Nike is obliged to collect sales tax only when it ships to states where it has a retail outlet. EncMstr 05:11, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
These are not really the answer to the question being asked. Yes, technically, you aren't taxed when the order is placed in another state, but rather when the order is delivered. The question is which state tax is applied, and WHEN? The tax assessed to the consumer depends on where the consumer lives, where the goods are to be used, and if such goods are taxable in the consumer's resident state. Thus, a California purchaser of catalog goods from another state, shipped to California (for his own use or as a gift), would have to pay the California tax, on taxable goods, unless the vendor collects it for some reason. This is called "use tax" and typically applies whenever the same goods would have been taxed in California if purchased at local retail (where the retailer is required to collect the tax and submit it to the state on behalf of the consumer). Of course, if you have them shipped to your country house for use in New Hampshire/Alaska/Delaware/Montana/Oregon, there is no tax. ;-)Lupinelawyer 10:48, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
From: [|] most states have what is called a "Use Tax" for when the seller is in a different state. This type of tax is the customer's responsibility to pay but is increasingly being collected by vendors at their behest. "A use tax is a tax imposed by states to collect taxes on sales which do not take place in their state. The tax is meant to insure that all purchases are taxed, whether purchased locally or from out of state sellers." 00:22, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
Although this is an old conversation, NY has recently put a law on the books that websites that do business in NYS, even if they have no physical presence, are required to collect taxes from the residents. It's going to court now to determine its legality, but perhaps it should be noted in the article. Heres a source, or you can just Google "Amazon Tax New York" (
Ghostalker (talk) 00:07, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
The section of the article that addresses this is inaccurate as currently written. ("As of June 1, 2008, when products are purchased online and shipped within New York State, the retailer must charge the tax amount appropriate to the locality where the goods are shipped, and in addition, must also charge the appropriate tax on the cost of shipping and handling.") First, it should read to an address in New York State, not within New York State. Second, this has been the case for as long as I can remember for vendors who have a physical presence in New York State. What changed effective June 1, 2008 is, online vendors who have an affiliate relationship with a Web site that's run from a location in New York State now have to collect sales tax from their New York customers. --anon. (talk) 04:51, 9 August 2008 (UTC)


The information given for the distribution of the 7.25% in California does not agree with the PDF I added as a source documenting how the structure of the tax is criticized. But that PDF may be out of date. I will update this from official BOE sources shortly. -- Beland 23:20, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

Done. Maybe someone will take interest in the other states; this info is pretty easy to find on the web. Personally, I was alarmed at how complicated the California sales tax exemption system is, and how many different groups get special treatment. -- Beland 04:42, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

This entry needs a reference to online sales tax, including how tax is assessed for online purchases for companies in the same state as the purchaser and out of state. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:36, 23 January 2008 (UTC)


I would like to contribute to the referencing of this article. References would be helpful not just to enhance credibility, but to make it easier for future editors to maintain the page. I happen to have a list US State tax department names and links, such as: Nevada Department of Taxation, and a few links to sites with info on all states. There seem to be two approaches. (1) Put a list of all fifty departments and links in a references section at the end. (2) Put the link for each department in the appropriate state section, and create a references section only for links to sites with info on all or multiple states. I propose approach (2). Thoughts?--Niku 01:09, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

I agree. Approach 2 is much more useful. EncMstr 05:07, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

Please see the section below about summary style. Mike Dillon 01:22, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

Fractions are Ugly[edit]

Before I spend the entire night changing the fractions (I changed one section before I realized that they're everywhere), I want a second opinion. I feel that the fractions are ugly, and should be shown as decimals instead. Here's an excerpt from the Florida section, with the second being without fractions:

This is 1% in most counties, ½% in many, 1½% in very few, and ¼% in one county.
This is 1% in most counties, .5% in many, 1.5% in very few, and .25% in one county.

Comments? koolman2 11:07, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

The fractions have the strength of being clearer reading in my computer's default display typeface. But otherwise I agree, the fractions seem old-fashioned, especially shown with a slant line (instead of horizontal) in whatever typeface they're appearing in. In .25%, the decimal is so small, at first glance it looks like 25%, so—at a minimum—I request that those be written 0.25% to make the decimal more obvious. EncMstr 15:11, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
Agreed on the 0.25% and such. I suppose that I'll get started on switching them all over! koolman2 04:13, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
They're all switched now. There weren't as many I thought there were earlier. koolman2 04:26, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

I want to get something straight[edit]

If I live in California, and buy something from another state, the interstate commerce clause will apply, and I would not have to pay any sort of sales tax? -- 04:04, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

to clarify, I am referring to this from
Sales tax is only required for orders shipping to destinations within our resident states of business. Therefore, all orders shipping to California, Tennessee and New Jersey will be charged sales tax according to the appropriate tax rate. Additionally, all orders shipping to Puerto Rico will be assessed a 6.6% duty tax and a $5.00 handling surcharge.

-- 04:07, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

It depends. I found this, which may be helpful. Check the site out for more information. But I believe this answers your question
A reader sent in the following question to me recently in regards to sales taxes on online sales:
"I buy a lot of stuff on the internet for my business. Recently I bought something in an online auction, 
and when the seller sent me his invoice, he added my state's sales tax to my winning bid. I thought this 
was odd, because the seller's located in another state and I didn't think you had to charge sales tax on 
interstate sales. Is there something going on here I should know about?"
Generally, when you're selling stuff--online or otherwise--you charge sales tax only when the buyer 
is located in the same state as you. Under current law, which may be changing soon (see below), you're not supposed to charge sales tax on sales to buyers who live in other states.
There are two exceptions to this, however, and your seller probably fell into one of them:
First, if the seller has an office, warehouse, distribution facility or retail location in your state, 
the seller may have to charge you sales tax because he is legally "doing business" in your state. 
This is why, when you buy something from a mail order catalogue, the invoice form sometimes says 
"residents of States A, B and C, please add sales tax to the total." The mail order company has 
its retail or warehouse outlets in States A, B and C and is required to collect sales tax from buyers 
located in each of those states, regardless of the actual location your order is shipping from. [1]
This is of course not for purchases made in person in another state. If you live in Lake Tahoe CA and buy your camera from a Best Buy in Lake Tahoe NV, you will be charged the Nevada state sales tax, because you're doing business in the same state as the company. --MPD01605 06:17, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
The question is whether "I would have to pay any sort of sales tax," not whether the seller is required to collect any tax. Yes, of course you have to pay California tax because you are a California resident receiving or bringing goods into California, but the over-the-counter seller typically doesn't care where you're from, and the internet/phone/mail-order seller only cares if he's also licensed to do business in your state. When the seller collects the tax for you (under his own state or national laws, to his own local treasury), it's called "sales tax" (or sometimes VAT or GST abroad) but when you pay it directly to your state's treasury it's called "use tax", and is the same amount as the sales tax you would have paid locally, reduced by any sales tax the seller may have collected. So, in this sense, it is "a sort of" sales tax. These laws apply regardless of where the goods are purchased (another state, overseas), even if the seller is not (or, under ICC, cannot be) required to collect it. Thus the 6.5% Nevada tax only partially covers the 7.25% tax owed by the consumer in California when he returns home with the goods. Lupinelawyer 10:48, 15 July 2006 (UTC)

Summary style[edit]

Hi there. I've been working on the California section of this page and I believe the bulk of the section needs to be moved into its own article (namely Sales and use tax in California). I saw the discussion above about where to include references and I think that the use of summary style is actually the right way to go. That is, the references should go in the complete article for the state and this page should have only summaries for states with lengthy discussions. The {{details}} template can be used to link to the detail articles consistently. Using summary style will allow this article to remain browsable while providing an easily accessible place to find more detailed information about those states that have more information (including legal references, history, etc).

I am bringing this up for discussion because I thought it would be an interesting alternative and because I am waiting for a response from the California State Board of Equalization about a couple of fact checks notices I added. I plan on making the change once I have their response and would appreciate nobody moving the California information until the BOE has had a chance to look at it (I know I should have used the "permanent link" feature). The note I sent to the BOE can be found here. Mike Dillon 01:18, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

Ohio and no sales tax on food[edit]

I notice that grocery/food sales tax exemptions are listed for states in which they occur, and while Ohio has no tax on food, this exemption is not mentioned in this article. Ohio has a sales tax on "service" rendered for food served in restaurants which is equivalent to what would be taxed as if there were such a tax on food, but groceries (and takeout, I believe) are exempt in Ohio. Please research this and edit the article appropriately if necessary.

Sales tax on food in Colorado[edit]

hi, I think there should be a difference noted between prepared food (i.e. restaurant), and food that you buy in a grocery store, which is not taxed.--Pueblonative 14:57, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

Income tax[edit]

I've removed all references to this or that state not having income tax. It is totally irrelevant to this article. Mike Dillon 15:15, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

Sales tax in New Jersey[edit]

The 7% Sales Tax has NOT yet taken effect, Currently the Governor and the legislature are working on an exact date that the new tax will take effect. Please do not make any reversions or changes back to 7% until an official announcement and you can provide a link to that announcement. Until then the sales tax in New Jersey is still 6%. Misterrick 03:52, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

The sales tax in New Jersey is certainly in effect! I paid for lunch today and was charged 7% sales tax. I'll be correct this inaccurate information by that I previously made. Misterrick 18:04, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

Website with all data centralized[edit]

I propose the creation of a website with sales tax data down to the state, county, zip, and city level, which is FREE, and updated by the community (wikipedia style). I know there are several commercial companies out there that charge an arm and a leg, but I want to do it for free--since most of the work appears to be manual labor of rate lookups. Maybe we could even convince localities to publish their data there. Perhaps we could offer a paid version (e.g. API for automatic updates) if ads doesnt cover server fees. Just an idea.

advertised price and sales tax[edit]

It is customary to advertise the net price (before, excluding [sales] tax) in the US, contrary to other parts in the world, which advertise the gross price (after, including ]sales] tax). Example: A 99 cent burger is approx. 1.08$ in New York (and can therefore not be paid with a dollar bill), but a 99 cent burger in Europe is actually 99 Euro-cent.


I believe many overseas visitors might find this aspect interesting. --Soylentyellow 23:35, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

  • As far as I know, tax computation is done on the subtotal, not on the item. Because of rounding, the total tax could be more or less than the tax would be if computed for each item. If you purchase 20 items, the price on your total order could vary by 20 cents (or more). A 10¢ item sold by itself might carry no tax. But it you buy 5 of them together, you might owe 4¢ tax. Advertising is often done nationally. So burgers are advertised nationwide as being 99¢. What the consumer pays depends on the jurisdiction where the purchase is made. I note that if you have a $1 off coupon for the 99¢ burger, you still must pay 9¢ (the tax on 99¢) because the coupon cannot reduce that.

Indian Reservations[edit]

I know some indian reservations don't have to charge a sales tax on things sold on the reservation, should this be mentioned? - 01:04, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Duluth Sales Tax[edit]

I'm adding the local sales taxes for Duluth Minnesota, since it is one of the larger cities in MN and has an additional local sales tax. There is a 1% sales tax on taxable items, and an additional 2.25% on "served food and beverages." Feel free to complain, adjust or remove if necessary :) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:29, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

Tourists Reclaiming Sales Tax[edit]

I've been told that Tourists can reclaim sales tax, but have searched the internet, but get referred to the Income Tax filing.

The wikipedia section doesn't cover this, and was wondering if there is a site or form to fill out?

-- 19:57, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

Speaking from my own experience, many times upon presentation of an Oregon driver's license, merchants will waive the sales tax at the time of purchase. This usually means more paperwork and time before getting out of the store, so it's really only worth it for larger purchases. (talk) 10:23, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Regarding Indiana sales tax on food items needs to be expanded to properly reflect the wider range of food items that are not taxed. As an example, a chocolate cake prepared by the grocer's bakery would not be a taxible item when NOT served with eating utensils. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:27, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

Where do I report that the preview is incorrect?[edit]

Preview shows indented sub-bullets, but saving the page results in no indentation. For an example, see section on CA statewide tax. I'm using IE6, if that's pertinent.


What's with the incomplete state-by-state table? (talk) 19:05, 13 July 2008 (UTC)

Well hey there '152. So glad you asked. I would say that the wiki way is for you to add to the table whatever lines you wanted to see there. I just added a line for my state of Maine. What's your state these days? Bob Stein - VisiBone (talk) 20:33, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

Also the wiki way is to obsess for hours over a page one originally intended to tweak a little. I also added Florida, Massachusetts and Vermont, a surtax column, some new color coding and removed the sort button from columns for which it made no sense. Actually the added column shows tax + surtax (the maximum for the state). I thought this more useful than surtax by itself, especially for sorting. The (local) indicator means locations in some states surtax meals. Maybe a note should explain this but...

...there appear to be orphan footnotes (1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6)(7) below the table. Perhaps someone once removed the indicators to visually clean up the table? I hope I haven't "polluted" it too much. They're informative, but I thought they should either be real footnotes or stop looking like footnotes.

I think the table could use a lodging column, many states vary that tax from the general. But I can see the table is more useful for someone deciding where to live than where to visit.

I love this table, I thank whoever started it. I think the use of color is overwhelming but not unpleasant. Perhaps icons for food, meals, drugs, etc. would be better, don't feel strongly. Bob Stein - VisiBone (talk) 22:20, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

Businesses and Services[edit]

The page works well in the context of consumers and goods. it is less clear in the context of businesses and services. ie a business incurring cost for a service is not a "reseller" as described. If they incur accountancy fees, electricity costs, etc are these subject to sales tax? Are they for consumers? These may seem silly questions to an American reader but to Euros more used to VAT they are far from clear. Crantock (talk) 17:34, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

Here's one tiny, anecdotal piece of the answer. I live in New York City, where the sales tax is 8.375%. For my residence, I pay 4% sales tax on electricity. For my business, I pay the full 8.375% sales tax on electricity. --anon. (talk) 04:59, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
This is supposed to be an encyclopedia article and not a definitive explanation of all nuances of the tax code throughout the USA.
I agree with the OP in that there is no general explanation of what is taxed and what isn't. Part of the problem is this varies from place to place and from time to time. See the thread immediately below this one for a glimpse of the possible taxes on a glass of beer. I don't think my residential electrical bill has any "sales tax" on it but there's dozens of other taxes plus accountancy fees, electricity costs, etc. on the billing statements. My electricity, water, gas, sewer, garbage, etc. all come from different utilities and each has its own special set of fees and taxes. It's quite likely I pay well over 100 different fees and taxes every month. My neighbor across the street is in a different city and also happens to be serviced by a different cable TV company. Some of our taxes will overlap but many will be unique to each of us. There are also exceptions in some tax codes for your age, disabilities, employment or previous employment, if you own or rent your house, car, marital status, children, etc. --Marc Kupper|talk 09:44, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Duluth Sales Tax Part Two[edit]

This paragraph:

"In addition to the local 1% sales tax added to Duluth sales, Duluth imposes an additional 2.75% tax on all food, beverage and alcohol sales at restaurants for a total of 12.25%, which distinguishes Duluth as having the highest broad-based, cumulative sales tax rate in the United States."

is inaccurate.

Duluth imposes an additional 2.75% tax on all food, beverage and alcohol sales -- The tax rate is 2.25%, not 2.75%, which is imposed on those establishments with sales exceeding $100,000.00 in an annual measuring period. The correct rate was noted previously in the article.

a total of 12.25%, which distinguishes Duluth as having the highest broad-based, cumulative sales tax rate in the United States -- The tax rate of 12.25% is the correct rate on liquor sales (1.00%+2.25%=3.25% (city) and 6.50%+2.50%=9.00% (state)) in the City of Duluth, but the tax rate is only 9.75% on food/beverage sales (1.00%+2.25%=3.25 (city) and 6.50% (state)) in the City of Duluth. This is not the highest cumulative sales tax rate in Minnesota, and therefore it is not the highest cumulative sales tax rate in the United States. In downtown Minneapolis, the tax rate on liquor can be as high as 12.65% to 15.65% (0.50% Minneapolis sales tax, 3.00% Minneapolis liquor tax, 3.00% Minneapolis entertainment tax (assessed on food and drinks sold in public places during live performances) 6.50% MN sales tax, 2.50% MN liquor tax, 0.15% Hennepin County sales tax). Based on the accuracy and limitations in the Wikipedia information, it is hard to say what tax rates might exist in places like Chicago, New York, Washington D.C., or Los Angeles, but I find it hard to believe that tax rates in Duluth or Minneapolis would exceed rates in those areas.

Also, the Wikipedia article does not account for all lodging taxes. Many Minnesota cities impose a lodging tax that is not administered, nor disclosed, by the Minnesota Department of Revenue. In the case of lodging, Duluth's highest rate is 13.00% (1.00%+2.50%+3.00%=6.50% (city) and 6.50% (state). Again, this is less than the highest lodging rate of 13.15% charged by the City of Minneapolis.

- Source - City of Duluth Treasurer's Office Tenthreeleader (talk) 16:48, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

North Carolina[edit]

Quoth the article:

"North Carolina has a state-levied sales tax of 4.5%, effective October 1, 2008, with most counties adding an additional 2.5% tax, for a total tax of 7%. Mecklenburg County levies an additional 0.5% tax, which is directed towards funding the light rail system, for a total of 7.25%."

Um, . Can someone knowledgeable please fix this? Thanks, Btyner (talk) 00:09, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

Fixed - Thanks Morphh (talk) 4:07, 01 February 2009 (UTC)


I added a "citation needed" tag to the Maryland section to explain the statement: "Maryland added sales tax on Internet purchases and other mail items such as magazine subscriptions." There was no reference for this item as of this date.

I am puzzled about the "addition" of a tax on internet purchases. During the 17 years I worked for Maryland as a sales and use tax auditor, there was no exemption from the tax for merchandise purchased by mail order, telephone order, or other electronic means. So it's unclear to me what has changed, or whether there was even a need for a change. Perhaps the description of the change needs rewording, but without a reference I don't know what that should be. Folklore1 (talk) 15:33, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

Sales Tax Remittance Question[edit]

I'm confused about sales tax remittance. That is, say I am in Utah, and I sell something to someone in New York, and I'm required to collect sales tax from the New York resident on behalf of the state (and city?) of New York then where do I send the money that I collected? It seems crazy that I might have to send a thousand checks to a thousand cities. It seems even more ridiculous that I would have to fill out paperwork for a thousand cities. How does this really work in practice? KellyCoinGuy (talk) 18:15, 22 March 2010 (UTC)

Minnesota State Sale Tax[edit]

Hi there, I was here at the East Grand Forks Campbell Library [F] I'm confused about

  • Minneapolis - 7.75% I have been to buying and got receiver paper one time.
  • Saint Paul - 7.75% I don't know never buy.
  • Rochester - 7.05% I don't know never buy.
  • Duluth - 7.85% I don't know never buy.
  • East Grand Forks - 6.875% I have been to buying many times!

May 18, 2010 I went to Loan and Pawn in Minneapolis. I bought used bike. $49.00 + $3.81 I used calculator. That is 7.77 or 7.78% I living in Grand Forks, North Dakota - 6.75% Nearest East Grand Forks, Minnesota

Ross Degenstein (talk) (talk) 20:04, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Inconsistency: Consumption tax vs tax on producer[edit]

To me as a non-expert reader, these two statements seem to be contradictory:

"A sales tax is a tax at consumption..." "They can be thought of as a flat tax on producers..."

It is my understanding that the first statement is correct and the second erroneous. If sales tax were a tax on producers, then it would be paid by a producer when he sold to another business, and would be paid by a mail order business selling to an out-of-state buyer. Neither is true.

The article on VAT states that VAT and sales tax are both consumption taxes, again contradictory to the second statement above. (talk) 02:02, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

Agree with you there. This is more a definition of a VAT, a form of sales tax, then the sales taxes used in the United States (a tax at final retail sale). The entry was added by an anon ip last month. I'll remove it. Morphh (talk) 14:45, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

Kansas Sales Tax[edit]

The Kansas sales tax figures are inconsistent and outdated. The table shows 8.65% as the maximum with local tax, but then mentions an 8.85% tax in Douglas county in the state-by-state breakdown. Neither of these is the highest anymore; Topeka recently added a half-percent sales tax, so the total is now 8.95%, which is not reflected on this page. I don't know where the information is supposed to come from for this page, I'll leave it for someone else to change. FlyingScientist (talk) 08:53, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

nevada groceries[edit]

Well, I live in nevada, and Im 99% sure that nevada does NOT charge on groceries /non-prepared food items. the table indicates that it does. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:51, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

Massachusetts is missing[edit]

From the "Contents section" — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:54, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

Major enhancement[edit]

I have significantly enhanced the article, adding discussions of key areas, with some citations. Additional citations would be helpful. I also downgraded the quality rating to C. The old article was little more than a list, and even with this enhancement I think it's only C class. I also increased the priority. This article gets 5k hits per day, more than almost any other tax article. It needs to be a top priority. Normally I would post a draft, but the near total absence of real meat to the article and number of hits convinced me any expansion would be an improvement. As always, comments and additional enhancements welcome. On this front, I noted, but did not change, that there is linking to place names throughout the pre-enhancement article. Oldtaxguy (talk) 04:44, 2 March 2011 (UTC)

Haven't had a chance to look all the changes over, but thanks for the super addition. I don't quite care for how the lead starts - it seems to go against some of our WP:LEAD guidelines. Title should be present and highlighted in the first sentence or two. It should start out with a definition and I don't think it does this clearly. I'll think on how best to rephrase it. Morphh (talk) 18:04, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. I'll be enhancing over next week or so. PLEASE comment more when you get a chance, and I'll incorporate. Oldtaxguy (talk) 18:45, 2 March 2011 (UTC)

Too much trivia[edit]

This article is overly long and too detailed as it is. I have removed several items of trivia relating to taxes in a specific place on a specific item. Also, I don't think we need detailed references to proposals for a VAT that have never been voted upon even at the committee level, so I removed those. Oldtaxguy (talk) 01:32, 10 August 2011 (UTC)

To the same end, I have removed some items from Illinois section, including a full description of what neighborhoods some taxes applied to. Way too much detail. Also, I removed two (duplicate) editorializations as POV. Oldtaxguy (talk) 03:15, 15 October 2011 (UTC)

Pennsylvania taxes some items while not taxing similar items[edit]

Pennsylvania has an arcane method of taxation which taxes some items which are used for human cleanliness while exempting others. For example, deodorant is non-taxable while anti-perspirant is taxable.

Not all soft drinks are taxable in PA. Soda pop is taxable, while flavored non-carbonated drinks such as Gatorade are non-taxable. Bill S. (talk) 10:25, 30 August 2011 (UTC)

I think most states have similarly arcane rules. Examples: NJ taxes bike shorts but not regular shorts; difference is bike shorts have a padded insert. Candy is taxable, unless it contains flour or requires refrigeration. NY: 70% juice requirement for fruit drinks to be nontaxable; cold coffee is tax exempt, hot coffee is taxable if sold in a cup. TX: salad mixed by the retailer is taxable, but the salad ingredients are not. Candy bars are taxable, but Bakers Chocolate bars are not. CA: antacid tablets are taxable, but antacid liquids are not. The list goes on and on, and is different in each state. Oldtaxguy (talk) 21:49, 30 August 2011 (UTC)

Removal of local table[edit]

I plan to revert the table on "Metro" sales tax. It adds almost nothing to an article that is far too long and detailed as it was. Comments? Oldtaxguy (talk) 20:23, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

Doesn't bother me much either way. I have no problem with it, but I have no attachment to it. Morphh (talk) 20:38, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

US Constitution grounds for non-imposition of tax are not policy issues[edit]

I have reverted the addition of a items to the policy issues section. The non-imposition of sales tax collection obligations absent nexus is an issue long settled by the US Supreme Court. The court has held (more than once) that the states cannot impose a tax or tax collection obligation on out of state persons unless the person has some connection with the state. This is not policy, it is constitutional law. Oldtaxguy (talk) 23:45, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

Removal of reliably sourced material[edit]

The graph that was removed was re-added to the article. The material has a clear reference to a reliable source. Also, with images to see the full description and the full references you need to click on the image to get the full description page. For clarity, these references have now been placed in the description caption. Any further suggestions for improvement are appreciated. Guest2625 (talk) 00:10, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

Adding a section about Internet sales tax =[edit]

Hi, I noticed that this article does not contain any discussion of recent efforts to institute a online sales tax in the United States, so I've drafted a short paragraph which could be expanded as the issue continues to develop. I've tried to present a balance of arguments both for and against the sales tax. You can see my proposed paragraph below. I'd suggest adding it as a subsection under "Collection, payment and tax returns", although I'm open to other possibilities.

Sales tax on the Internet
In May of 2013, the Senate passed the Marketplace Fairness Act, which would allow states to collect sales taxes for purchases made online.[1] The bill received support from retailers including Walmart, who have claimed that it is unfair not to require online merchants to collect sales taxes,[2] while groups like the National Retail Federation and the Retail Industry Leaders Association have said that requiring online vendors to collect sales taxes will help make brick and mortar retailers more competitive.[3] However, U.S. House Speaker John Boehner stated that it would be difficult to implement such a system due to varying tax codes in different states.[2] The bill was also criticized by The Heritage Foundation, which indicated that it believes the bill would harm Internet commerce and small businesses.[4] As of May 2013 the bill was before the House of Representatives.[1]


  1. ^ a b "Senate passes Internet sales tax bill". May 6, 2013. Retrieved May 9, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Roxana Tiron; Peter Cook (May 8, 2013). "Boehner ‘Probably’ Won’t Back Internet Sales Tax Measure". Bloomberg. Retrieved May 9, 2013. 
  3. ^ Jayne O'Donnell; Hadley Malcolm (May 6, 2013). "Who would win or lose on online sales tax". USA Today. Retrieved May 9, 2013. 
  4. ^ Stephen Ohlemacher (April 25, 2013). "Internet sales tax embraced by no-tax Republicans". Yahoo! News. Retrieved May 9, 2013. 

Since I work at The Heritage Foundation, I feel I have a COI here, as our criticism of this effort is mentioned in the paragraph I've written. I'd rather not make the edits myself, at least not without this being checked out by other editors. I'm open to feedback, but if things look ok, could someone move this over into the article? Thanks! Thurmant (talk) 15:16, 30 May 2013 (UTC)

This edit request was "denied" on June 6, but the editor didn't leave any explanation about why. For now I have added the request edit template back. If you review this request please leave me a comment. If you disagree with what I've prepared, let's discuss revising this section. Thanks! Thurmant (talk) 13:52, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
After review, I believe the section should be added after some copyedit and with the removal of the sentence about the Hertiage Foundation. See Marketplace Fairness Act, under Opponents for better location of text. I already added it. Geraldshields11 (talk) 01:06, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
Please comment. I suggest adding:
Sales tax on the Internet
In May 2013, the Senate passed the Marketplace Fairness Act, which would allow states to collect sales taxes for purchases made online.[1] The bill would give States the tools to collect sales taxes on cross-State sales transactions.[2] The bill received support from retailers including Walmart, who have claimed that it is unfair not to require online merchants to collect sales taxes,[2] while groups like the National Retail Federation and the Retail Industry Leaders Association have said that requiring online vendors to collect sales taxes will help make brick and mortar retailers more competitive.[3] However, U.S. House Speaker John Boehner stated that it would be difficult to implement such a system due to varying tax codes in different states.[2] As of May 2013, the bill was before the House of Representatives.[1]


  1. ^ a b "Senate passes Internet sales tax bill". May 6, 2013. Retrieved May 9, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c Roxana Tiron; Peter Cook (May 8, 2013). "Boehner ‘Probably’ Won’t Back Internet Sales Tax Measure". Bloomberg. Retrieved May 9, 2013. 
  3. ^ Jayne O'Donnell; Hadley Malcolm (May 6, 2013). "Who would win or lose on online sales tax". USA Today. Retrieved May 9, 2013. 

Is there a third-party source for the internet retailers' response or comment? Geraldshields11 (talk) 01:09, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
Hi Geraldshields11, I guess I'm a little curious as to why you relocated just the Heritage Foundation criticism, when the support and criticism from other organizations was kept, but if you think that it fits better in the Marketplace Fairness Act article then I will trust your judgement. Otherwise, your revisions look fine to me.
And for your question about third-party sources on internet retailers' response or comment I haven't found too much, however the third source (by Jayne O'Donnell)used in the draft above includes the following:, where many small retailers conduct their businesses, has been one of the the loudest opponents of the legislation and vowed late Monday to keep lobbying to bring "greater balance to the legislation."
I also found this Today source that mentions that Amazon favors the Marketplace Fairness Act, and again that eBay opposes it. Here is what the source says:, which had always argued against an online sales tax, now supports it. The shift in position comes as Amazon expands operations into more states, requiring the online retailer to collect the taxes from customers in those states.
Another online powerhouse, eBay has lobbied against the bill which it believes will hurt some of its sellers. Ebay wants Congress to exempt businesses that have less than $10 million in out-of-state sales or fewer than 50 employees.
Would you like to add this information into this section, or do you feel this is more appropriate for the main Marketplace Fairness Act?
Thanks for taking a look at this, I'll keep an eye out for your reply! Thurmant (talk) 19:00, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
I'm not sure why Geraldshields11 has an issue with the mention of the Heritage Foundation's criticism. Particularly because we're mentioning support from the National Retail Federation and the Retail Industry Leaders Association. It seems to me that it would provide POV balance to include the another organization that has studied and opposes the legislation. I suggest including it. Morphh (talk) 21:07, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
I added the section which included parts of both above along with additional information and copyedits. Morphh (talk) 21:37, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
Heritage Foundation is not a retailer so I wanted to find a discussion of other internet retailers. So, a news items written by the Heritage Foundation stating the response of internet retailers is fine. Heritage Foundation is a reliable source but does not have "skin in the game". Geraldshields11 (talk) 23:45, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
Sorry for the slow response. I was away last week. The "Internet transactions" section looks good to me. Thank you both for the help here! Thurmant (talk) 15:18, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

Contradictory info[edit]

The section for West Virginia has a cited statement saying they were the first jurisdiction to impose a sales tax, however, later on in the "History" section, there is a cited statement claiming that distinction falls to Mississippi. This apparent contradiction needs to be resolved. --Tckma (talk) 21:43, 30 May 2013 (UTC)

Alabama sales tax limit removed[edit]

The reference mentioned no such 10% limit.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

@ There's no legal limit, but if you took at the tables on that site the highest general merchandise tax rate appears to be 13.5% in the parts of Arab in Cullman County (5% Arab tax + 4.5% Cullman tax + 4% Alabama Tax). --Ahecht (TALK
) 14:27, 18 August 2015 (UTC)

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residential "privilege" tax in AZ cities[edit] states that only Florida taxes rentals. That might be true on the state level, but most larger Arizona cities impose what is legally called a "privilege tax", but commonly referred to as a sales tax, on all residential rentals.

See and — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:56, 27 September 2015 (UTC)

Effective sales tax by income[edit]

Very useful conjecture from 1990.

Thanks for including it as if it is relevant to anything beyond promoting a socioeconomic agenda.

Wikipedia the great chronicler of epic liberal social fail. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:48, 24 October 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Sales taxes in the United States/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Needs a copyedit - try to structure paragraphs out of some of the one line senteces. Mix of citation types - I'd recommend using the footnote standard on all citations. Citations should go directly after punctuation without any spaces. Morphh (talk) 04:27, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Last edited at 04:33, 2 January 2007 (UTC). Substituted at 05:17, 30 April 2016 (UTC)