The number of sales tax rate changes across the U.S. declined for the fourth consecutive year in 2012, while the combined average sales tax rate increased slightly, according to 2012 Sales Tax Rate Report from Vertex Inc.,the leading provider of corporate enterprise tax solutions.
“While there continued to be a number of changes in sales tax rates across the US,there is a sustained decline in the rate of these changes,” said John Minassian, Vice President of Tax Content Development for Vertex Inc. “The rate of change has declined steadily from record levels seen in 2008, and may signal improved strength in the larger economy.”
The number of rate changes at the state, county, city, and district level declined to 459 in 2012,compared to 483 in 2011, 573 in 2010, 723 in 2009 and a record 831 in 2008. Of the 459 changes, 211 were tax increases, 167 were new taxes and 81 were decreases.
The average combined sales tax rate, including U.S. state, county, local and special purpose tax districts,is 9.6144 percent, up slightly from the 2011 year‐end rate of 9.6056 percent.
“Over the past five years there have been in excess of 3,000 sales and use tax rate changes in the U.S. ,”said Peggi Rockefeller, Chief Tax Officer,US Transaction Tax for Vertex Inc. “Keeping pace with these constant changes continues to be a concern for companies of all sizes, particularly those in the retail sector. Sales and use taxes continue to receive scrutiny from auditors at the state and local levels, and companies continue to seek tax process and technology improvements in response.”
Additional statistics from the Vertex 2012 Sales Tax Rate Report:
The average state level sales tax rate remains at 5.4880 percent,the same as in 2011. Indiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Tennessee have the highest sales tax rate at 7.000 percent, and Minnesota has the second highest sales tax rate at 6.8750 percent.
The average county tax rate is marginally higher than the year‐end 2011 rate at 1.5368 percent,and the average city rate increased to 1.6754 percent from the year‐end 2011 rate of 1.6708 percent.
The highest city sales tax rates are found in Kodiak, Alaska, and Wrangell, Alaska (both 7.000 percent). The highest combined sales tax rate of 13.7250 percent is found in Tuba City(including the surrounding areas that are in the To’Nanees‘Dizi Local Government), Coconino County, Arizona.
Since 1978, Vertex, Inc., has been a leading provider of tax technology and services, enabling companies of all sizes to realize the full strategic potential of the tax function by automating and integrating tax processes, while leveraging advanced and predictive analytics of tax data. Vertex provides cloud-based and on-premise solutions that can be tailored to specific industries for every major line of tax, including income, sales and consumer use, value added and payroll. Headquartered in Pennsylvania, and with offices worldwide, Vertex is a privately held company that employs over 900 professionals and serves companies across the globe.