Introduction to the US state sales and use taxes

Currently, 45 states and the District of Columbia have a sales tax, which contributes about 25% to 30% to their total tax revenue. Moreover, 33 states permit local governments to levy the tax, and an additional sales tax is now levied by about 7,500 local jurisdictions, generating an average of 12% of their total revenue. In their design and scope, the state sales taxes follow a common pattern, but details, rates and coverage vary considerably. In this article, the author focuses on the common elements of these taxes.