published Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

Big Five: Tennessee has highest sales tax

HIGHEST SALES TAX STATES

The states with the highest average combined sales tax rates are:

1. Tennessee, 9.44 percent

2. Arizona, 9.16 percent

3. Louisiana, 8.87 percent

4. Washington, 8.86 percent

5. Oklahoma, 8.67 percent

Source: Tax Foundation

The sales tax is perhaps the easiest and most transparent of taxes to understand: people can reach into their pocket and see the rate printed on a receipt.

But different local sales tax rates collected in 37 states can still be confusing with different charges on retail sales even within the same county.

"These (local) rates can be substantial, so a state with a moderate statewide sales tax rate could actually have a very high combined state-local rate compared to other states," Scott Drenkard of the Washington D.C.-based Tax Foundation said in a report released Monday.

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