Louisiana’s Gigantic Combined Sales Tax is the Highest in the U.S.
When I moved from Texas to Louisiana almost 5 years ago, I got a huge culture shock. Although I lived just about an hour and a half away from the Bayou State - I had no idea living in the city I had visited many times before (the Ratchet City knows how to party, obviously) would take such a big adjustment.
For one, the food is crazy good here! Not that I was starving in the Lone Star State, mind you. Texas has plenty of great food (mostly barbecue), but the cooking is Louisiana is sinfully good! Getting used to the crater-filled roads was another thing that I had to get used to, but it wasn't the biggest shock. The surprising aspect that takes that title is the sales tax.
A recent study by the national tax policy nonprofit organization known as the Tax Foundation found that while neighboring states like Texas (#19) and Mississippi (#22) ranked in the middle of the pack when it comes to the sales tax burden put on residents purchases - Louisiana was a pricy #1 on the list!
According to the Bossier Press Tribune, when the professionals analyzed the combined local and state sales taxes - they found that Louisiana's rate was ringing in at a whopping 9.55%! This barely beats out states like Tennessee (9.547%), Arkansas (9.48%), Washington (9.29%) and Alabama (9.22%).
While the much needed income from these taxes fund everything from roads to schools to fire departments and more - experts warn that pushing sales taxes higher and higher may backfire. Analysts with the Tax Foundation say that the higher the tax percentage goes, the more likely consumers are to drive to a low-tax area (like Texas) to make larger purchases (like cars and trucks) and can push more residents to make their smaller purchases with online retailers.
Here's the question I always have when this subject comes up: If we have the highest combined sales tax rate in the country, and the money collected is supposed to be used to better our roadways - why are ours full of potholes?
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