The Kiplinger Tax Map: Guide to State Income Taxes, State Sales Taxes, Gas Taxes, Sin Taxes
Tool | Updated October 2019

State-by-State Guide to Taxes

Compare state tax rates and rules — on income, ordinary purchases, gas, sin products, property, and more — across the U.S.


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The Bottom Line
Flag of Hawaii

Mixed Tax Picture

The Aloha State does things differently than the mainland. Let’s start with Hawaii’s sales tax. Since it’s due on virtually all transactions, the pocketbook effect is far more severe than the rate would suggest. Income taxes are relatively high, too with a whopping 11% top rate. A ray of sunshine: Property taxes as a percentage of home value are the lowest in the U.S.

Sales Tax

4% state levy. Hawaii employs a General Excise Tax that applies to a wide range of goods and services; only prescription drugs and prostheses are exempt, and many business-to-business transactions are also taxable. Oahu has a county surcharge tax of 0.5% to pay for mass transit, taking the state’s average combined rate to 4.41%. To ease the burden on low-income residents, the state provides a credit. The maximum payout is $110 per taxpayer.

Income Tax Range

Low: 1.4% (on taxable income up to $4,800 for married couples filing jointly; on up to $2,400 for married couples filing separately and individual filers)

High: 11% (on taxable income over $400,000 for married couples filing jointly and surviving spouses; on over $200,000 for married couples filing separately and individual filers)

Effective tax rate: 5.96% for single filers, 7.13% for joint filers.

Motor Fuel Taxes

Gasoline: $0.4841 per gallon (varies by county).
Diesel: $0.5045 per gallon (varies by county).

Property Taxes

In Hawaii, residents pay an average of $304 in taxes per $100,000 of assessed home value.

Vehicle Taxes

State excise tax is due on vehicle sales. Vehicles are also taxed by weight at registration. (Example: A 4,000-pound vehicle registered in Honolulu County would owe $200 to the county and $75 to the state.)

Sin Taxes

Cigarettes and little cigars: $3.20 per pack
Large cigars: 50% of the wholesale price
Other tobacco products: 70% of the wholesale price

Beer: $0.93 per gallon ($0.54 for draft beer)
Wine: $1.38 per gallon ($2.12 if sparkling)
Liquor: $5.98 per gallon

Taxes On Wireless Service


Inheritance and Estate Taxes

Hawaii decided not to follow the big jump in the estate-tax exemption under the new federal tax law and set its own instead: $5.49 million, the same as for 2017. Tax rates range from 10% to 15.7%.

Oddball Tax

Not a tax, but a deduction: The "Exceptional Tree" act allows homeowners and others to deduct up to $3,000 in expenses per tree for a tree that's big, old, rare or some combination thereof. The work must be done by a certified arborist, the tree itself has to be certified, and the deduction can be claimed only every third year.

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