Research Publication No. 23
Retail sales taxes will bring the states and localities over $15 billion in 1970. This is an impressive slim Under any circumstances; in the context of today’s state and local financial pressures it is vital. For as the new decade begins, the means by which state and local governments will finance a wide range of domestic programs remains a matter o f considerable public discussion.
The purpose of this study is to examine the present and prospective role of the retail sales tax in state and local tax structures. It analyzes the characteristics of the various levies referred to as “retail” sales taxes, suggests the reasons for their wide use and rapid revenue growth, and points tip the major issues relating to their operation.
Robert Norton, Research Assistant, was primarily responsible for this study, under the general supervision of Elsie M. Watters, Director of State-Local Research. The study is based on portions of an earlier Tax Foundation work, Retail Sales and Individual Income Taxes in State Tax Structures, directed by C. Lowell Harriss, the Foundation’s Economic Consultant, and published in early 1962.