By Amye Anderson
UCBJ Managing Editor
TENNESSEE – Having the nation’s highest average statewide sales tax rate was a designation previously held by Louisiana. Following a slight decline in Louisiana’s combined state sales tax that took effect July 1, Tennessee now has the highest average statewide sales tax rate in the nation.
However, only one-tenth of a percentage point was all it took to bump Tennessee to the top of the list. Tennessee reported a combined rate of 9.46 percent. Meanwhile, Louisiana, after the changes and small reduction in local rates, fell to the second spot with a reported rate of 9.45 percent.
Rounding out the top five states with the highest average combined state and local sales tax rates, behind Tennessee and Louisiana, are: Arkansas (9.42 percent), Washington (9.19 percent), and Alabama (9.15 percent).
Forty-five states and the District of Columbia collect statewide sales taxes. Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon do not have statewide sales taxes; though, Alaska does allow localities to charge local sales taxes.
The states reporting the lowest average combined rates, in percentage points, are Alaska (1.43), Hawaii (4.35), Wyoming (5.39), Wisconsin (5.44), and Maine (5.50).