Center for State Tax Policy

Sales Taxes

Sales taxes are a form of excise levied when a good or services is sold to its final consumer. Sales taxes are levied at both the state and local level, and commonly exempt food, utilities and other necessities from taxation. Since state sales taxes only apply to purchases within a state’s borders, they are typically accompanied by a use tax that applies to the use, storage, or other consumption within the state of goods or services purchased out of state.


Related Articles

From the Archives: Tax Foundation Research on Taxation of Interstate Commerce, 1966 and Today

July 12, 2011

California Becomes Seventh State to Adopt “Amazon” Tax on Out-of-State Online Sellers

July 1, 2011

Alienating the Amish: Another Tale of New York Tax Administration

June 28, 2011

On Tax Holidays for Hurricanes and Gasoline

May 27, 2011

Louisiana Considers Adopting “Amazon” Tax on Out-of-State Online Sellers

May 26, 2011

The Role of Congress in State Tax Legislation: Ensuring that State Taxation Does Not Do Harm to the National Economy (Testimony Before the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Courts, Commercial, and Administrative Law)

May 25, 2011

Prepared Statement of Joseph Henchman: Hearing on the Business Activity Tax Simplification Act of 2011

April 13, 2011

Rising Gasoline Prices Benefit a Few States

March 22, 2011

Illinois Governor Signs “Amazon Tax”

March 10, 2011

Monday Map: Cell Phone Taxes

March 7, 2011

State and Local General Sales Tax Collections Per Capita, Fiscal Year 2008

February 25, 2011

In Puerto Rico a Pack of Gum Could Be Worth $1,000

February 9, 2011

New Data on State and Local Sales Taxes

February 7, 2011

Ranking State and Local Sales Taxes

February 3, 2011

Recent State Tax Reforms in the United States and Opportunities for California at a Time of Fiscal Challenge (Testimony before California’s Select Committee on Recovery, Reform, and Realignment)

February 2, 2011

Illinois Offering Use Tax Amnesty

January 27, 2011

Connecticut Considers an “Amazon Tax”…Again

January 25, 2011

Illinois “Amazon Tax” Puts Internet Firms in Danger

January 14, 2011

Online Sales Tax Debate

December 20, 2010

Paying Sales Tax on Cyber Monday Purchases?

November 29, 2010