5 States With No State Sales Tax

A handful of states don't impose a sales tax, but that doesn't necessarily make them the best states for low taxes.

picture of cash register showing zero tax due
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Many people don't factor in sales taxes when they're looking at the tax-friendliness of different states. That's a mistake. Forty-five states plus the District of Columbia impose a sales tax. In addition, local sales tax is collected in 38 states. The combined state and local levy can be hefty, too. In fact, in Louisiana (which took the top spot in our round-up of the 10 States With the Highest Sales Tax), the average combined state and local sales tax is 9.55%, according to the Tax Foundation (opens in new tab). That's a big bite out of your wallet every time you make a purchase.

On the flip side, for states that don't impose a sales tax, residents are often hit hard with other taxes (like income or property taxes). After all, money for roads and schools has to come from somewhere. New Hampshire, for example, has some of the highest real estate taxes in the country. In Oregon, income tax rates can be as steep as 9.9%, which is one of the highest top rates in the nation.

The information below will help you understand more about what you will really pay to live in the 5 states with no sales tax. For each state, we've also included a link to our full guide to state taxes for middle-class families (opens in new tab) to help you put these shopping destinations in perspective.

Income tax brackets are 2022 values, unless otherwise noted. Median property tax rates are for 2021, the most recent data available from the U.S. Census Bureau (opens in new tab).

David Muhlbaum
Senior Online Editor, Kiplinger.com

In his current role as Senior Online Editor, David edits and writes a wide range of content for Kiplinger.com. With more than 20 years of experience with Kiplinger, he has worked on and written for a range of its publications, including The Kiplinger Letter and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. He is a co-host of Your Money's Worth, Kiplinger's podcast and has helped develop the Economic Forecasts feature.