But PA Scarce on Local Sales Taxes

Yesterday’s Brief pointed out how widespread the wage tax is in Pennsylvania and how, among the U.S. states, the local governments in the state account for 60% of all the localities levying a tax on earned income/personal income. The Tax Foundation has released a follow-up on local sales taxes in the U.S. and it is clear PA is not one of the top utilizers of this type of tax.

Only four states-Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon-have neither state nor local taxes on retail sales. Nine other states have only a statewide sales tax. The total combined rate, which adds the state rate and the average local tax rate, does not exceed 10% with Tennessee reporting the highest combined rate at 9.43%.

Pennsylvania has a statewide sales tax, but locally it is utilized in only two places: Philadelphia, where the rate is a combined 8% (6 points for the state and 2 local add-on points which are used for general city purposes and pension funding) and Allegheny County, where the rate is a combined 7% (6 points for the state and 1 local add-on point for the Regional Asset District). There were calls for a countywide sales tax as part of Harrisburg’s Act 47 plan, but that was quickly dismissed. And though the County Commissioners Association has advocated for an add-on sales tax for quite some time that has not come to pass.