A new report, released this week, puts Tennessee at the top of all 50 states with the highest combination of state and local sales tax rates—at 9.44 percent. The next-highest rates can be found in Arkansas, Louisiana, Washington and Oklahoma.
Alaska, on the other hand, boasts a combined state and local sales tax rate of 1.69 percent.
The findings are a result of a study conducted by the Tax Foundation, a conservative think tank. To calculate the rankings, the foundation combined the rates for state sales tax with the average local sales tax and adjusted for population.
Tennessee's high rates are, in part, because of its lack of a state income tax. Next year, voters will cast ballots on a resolution to amend the Tennessee Constitution and ban state income tax for good.
Although the high rates may be discouraging to Tennesseans living well within state borders, there's a silver lining for Chattanoogans. Georgia—mere miles to the south—has a combined state and local sales tax rate of 6.98 percent.
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