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Portland is largest “no sales tax” city. How we compare.

August 30, 2010

Portland is one of the largest cities that has no sales tax
By Oregon Tax News,

A recent report released by the Washington D.C. based Tax Foundation, shows how major metropolitan cities compare with sales tax.  Portland and Anchorage, Alaska have the title of the largest cities in the country with no sales tax. The study evaluated cities with population greater than 200,000, which there are 107 in the country.  Behind Portland came Honolulu, Hawaii with 4.5% and a variety of cities in Virginia at 5.0% combined sales tax.  Oregon, Alaska, Delaware, Montana and New Hampshire do not have a statewide general sales tax.  The state with the highest sales tax is Tennessee (9.4%), followed by with California (9.08%) and Arizona (9.01%).  Of the major metropolitan areas, the cities with the highest sales tax were Birmingham, AL and Montgomery, AL at 10%.

States with highest sales tax

  1. Tennessee (9.4%)
  2. California (9.08%)
  3. Arizona (9.01%)
  4. Louisiana (8.69%)
  5. Washington (8.61%)
  6. New York (8.52%)
  7. Oklahoma (8.33%)
  8. Illinois (8.22%)
  9. Arkansas (8.10%)
  10. Alabama (8.03%)

States with lowest sales tax

  1. Oregon (0%)
  2. Delaware (0%)
  3. Montana (0%)
  4. New Hampshire (0%)
  5. Alaska (1.11%)
  6. Hawaii (4.35%)
  7. Maine (5%)
  8. Virginia (5%)
  9. Wyoming (5.17%)
  10. South Dakota (5.22%)

Major metropolitan areas with highest combined sales tax

  1. Birmingham, AL (10%)
  2. Montgomery, AL (10%)
  3. Long Beach, CA (9.75%)
  4. Los Angeles, CA (9.75%)
  5. Oakland (9.75%)
  6. Fremont, CA (9.75%)
  7. Chicago, IL (9.75%)

Major metropolitan areas with lowest combined sales tax

  1. Portland, OR (0%)
  2. Anchorage (0%)
  3. Honolulu, HI (4.5%)
  4. Arlington, VA (5.0%)
  5. Chesapeake, VA (5.0%)
  6. Norfolk, VA (5.0%)
  7. Richmond, VA (5.0%)
  8. Virginia Beach, VA (5.0%)
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Discuss this article

Bob Clark August 30, 2010

Let’s keep it at 0%, and get rid of “back door” sales taxes like the new gross receipts tax (measure 66 or was it measure 67).

Steve Buckstein August 30, 2010

Bob, it was Measure 67 that created a “back door” sales tax by taxing gross Oregon sales of C corporations.

Vedder August 31, 2010

I did not see anything about that when I voted and I read most of what came through the mail. Were voters not given the full information?

Steve Buckstein August 31, 2010

Vedder, the ballot title for M67 was in the official Voters Pamphlet that all voters should have received, and should have been in your ballot envelop, said in part:

Yes vote: “Yes” vote raises $10 corporate minimum tax, establishes $150 minimum tax for most businesses or minimum tax of approximately 0.1% of total Oregon revenues for some corporations with over $500,000 in Oregon revenues. Raises tax rate some corporations pay on profits by 1.3 percentage points. Increases certain business filing fees. Raises estimated $255 million to provide funds currently budgeted for education, health care, public safety, other services.

It was the “0.1% on total Oregon revenues for some corporations with over $500,000 in Oregon revenues” part that is in effect a sales tax on companies that are losing money. A car dealership, for example, with $50 million in Oregon revenue, but no profit, would have to pay $50,000 in new sales taxes because of M67.

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