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Why So-Called 'Low Tax' States Dominated by Republicans Aren’t Always So Low in Taxes

July 23, 2018 in Blogs

By Alex Henderson, AlterNet

A lot of taxes are still being paid—although they’re more likely to be hidden or less obvious.

Two things one can count on in life are death and taxes, and in the United States, Republicans like to portray themselves as the party that allows Americans to keep more of their hard-earned money. But in states dominated by Republicans, a lot of taxes are still being paid—although they’re more likely to be hidden or less obvious.

Texas is a state where the Republican Party has a strong ground game politically, and because Texas has no state income tax, Republicans consider it heaven for taxpayers. But Texas collects taxes in other ways. Texas has a statewide sales tax rate of 6.25%, and sales taxes at the county or city level can exist as well. Texas allows a total sales tax rate of up to 8.25% when state, city and/or county taxes are combined, and that 8.25% is what one finds in Houston, Dallas or San Antonio.

Other taxes in Texas include 8.25% on alcoholic beverages, a gasoline tax of 20 cents per gallon, property taxes (on average, Texans are paying around $2654 annually if they own their homes) and taxes on cable or satellite television. For Internet access, anything over $25 on a bill is taxed.

Taxes around the world can be either regressive or progressive. With progressive taxes, the poor have the lowest tax rates because they’re the least able to pay—while the rich are taxed at higher rates. Regressive taxes, however, will tax people at the same rates across the board regardless of their ability to pay. And sales taxes, because they are often flat taxes, can be quite regressive.

On April 2, USA Today published an article that gave a state-by-state rundown of sales tax rates in the U.S.—and some of the higher sales tax rates were in red states.

For example, USA Today reported combined sales tax rates (factoring in state and average local taxes) of 9.1% in Alabama, 9.5% in Tennessee, 8.9% in Oklahoma, 8.7% in Kansas, 9.5% in Tennessee, 9.4% in …read more


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