Memphis Commercial Appeal quotes Scott Drenkard on local sales taxes

April 11, 2012

State sales tax rate pushes Memphis, Nashville into Top 10 among U.S. cities

By Richard Locker

April 11, 2012

NASHVILLE -- Memphis and Nashville are tied for 7th among U.S. cities with populations of 200,000 or more with the highest sales tax rates, mainly as a result of the state's 7 percent rate, according to an annual report issued Wednesday by The Tax Foundation.


Alabama, for example, has a state rate of 4 percent but Birmingham and Montgomery have local sales tax rates of 6 percent each.

"Of course, sales taxes are just one part of an overall tax structure and should be considered in context," said Tax Foundation economist Scott Drenkard, who co-authored the report Sales Tax Rates in Mayor U.S. Cities. "For example, Washington State has high sales taxes but no income tax while Oregon has no sales tax but high income taxes.

"Many factors influence business location and investment decisions, but sales taxes are something within policymakers' control that can have immediate impacts," Drenkard said.

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