Tennesssee: State has highest sales tax rate in country, group says

Tennesssee: State has highest sales tax rate in country, group says

October 16th, 2009 in Local Regional News

Tennessee has the highest combined state and local sales tax rate in the nation, the Tax Foundation reported today.

The average combined state and county sales tax rate in Tennessee is 9.41 percent. By comparison, the combined state and local sales tax rate averaged 7.02 percent in Georgia and 6.15 percent in Alabama.

The state of Alaska, which benefits by its tax collections from oil, gas and other natural resources, has the lowest combined sales tax rate average at 1.61 percent.

"Sales taxes are at the same time transparent and opaque," said Dr. Kail Padgitt, staff economist for the Tax Foundation who authored the sales tax comparison study. "Taxpayers can easily see sales tax rates by looking at the receipt for any purchase, but depending on the locality in a specific state, there may be a variety of local option sales taxes in addition to the state rate."

Four localities in central Alabama have the dubious distinction of having the highest combined sales tax. Brookwood, Coaling, Coker and Vance all have a total sales tax rate of 11 percent, with 4 percent going to the state, 5 percent going to Tuscaloosa County and 2 percent to the cities.

For complete details, see tomorrow's Times Free Press.