10 States With the Highest Sales Taxes

These states have the highest sales tax rates in the U.S., but do they really? Learn what taxes look like before you shop.

Digital generated image of vertical bar graph made out of golden cubic blocks with shopping carts standing on them against light blue background
(Image credit: Getty Images)

State sales tax rates don’t always reflect the rate you will actually pay or what items you will pay tax on. States with the highest sales tax are sometimes more tax-friendly states (in some ways) than states with lower sales taxes. And what part of the state you shop in can make a difference in how much you spend.

Note: Localities (cities and counties) often have sales tax rates separate from the statewide rate. Rankings for states with the highest sales tax are based on the average combined local and state tax rates. The sales tax rates used in this story are based on the latest data from the Tax Foundation. This list does not include the four reported states with no sales tax or average combined local taxes.

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Katelyn Washington
Former Tax Writer

Katelyn has more than 6 years of experience working in tax and finance. While she specialized in tax content while working at Kiplinger from 2023 to 2024, Katelyn has also written for digital publications on topics including insurance, retirement, and financial planning and had financial advice commissioned by national print publications. She believes knowledge is the key to success and enjoys providing content that educates and informs.