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U.S. sales tax - Sales taxes in the United States

Summary of sales taxes in the United States of America

US sales taxes are taxes on the sale or lease of goods and services in the United States. Sales tax is regulated at the state level and there is no national general sales tax. Forty-five states, the District of Columbia, the Puerto Rico and Guam areas have general sales taxes applicable to the sale or leasing of most goods and some services, and states may also impose or selective sales taxes on the sale or leasing of certain goods Services. States can authorize local governments to collect additional general or selective sales taxes.

As of 2017, 5 states (Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon) do not levy statewide sales tax. California has the highest base sales tax rate at 7.25%. Including county and city sales taxes, the highest total sales tax in Arab, Alabama is 13.50%.

Sales tax is calculated by multiplying the purchase price by the applicable tax rate. The seller picks it up at the time of sale. The usage tax is levied by a buyer who has not paid sales tax on a taxable purchase. In contrast to sales tax, sales tax is only levied in retail. In cases where items such as used cars are retailed multiple times, sales tax may be levied on the same item indefinitely.

Definitions of retail sales and taxable items vary between states. Virtually all jurisdictions offer numerous categories of goods and services that are exempt from sales tax or taxed at reduced rates. The purchase of goods for further production or for resale is uniformly exempt from sales tax. Most jurisdictions exempt foods sold in grocery stores, prescription drugs, and many farm products.

Sales taxes, including those imposed by local governments, are usually administered at the state level. States that levy sales tax either levy the tax on retail sellers, such as the Arizona Transaction Privilege Tax, or they levy it on retail buyers and require sellers to collect it. In both cases, the seller files the tax return and transfers it to the state. In states where the seller pays the tax, it is common for the seller to ask the buyer for a refund. The rules of procedure are very different. Sellers generally have to collect taxes from government buyers unless the buyer provides an exemption certificate. Most states allow or require an electronic transfer.

  • 1 Taxable Items
  • 2 Debt collection, payment and tax returns
  • 3 Constitutional Restrictions
  • 4 According to place of jurisdiction
    • 4.1 Summary table
    • 4.2 Alabama
    • 4.3 Alaska
    • 4.4 Arizona
    • 4.5 Arkansas
    • 4.6 California
    • 4.7 Colorado
    • 4.8 Connecticut
    • 4.9 Delaware
    • 4.10 District of Columbia
    • 4.11 Florida
    • 4.12 Georgia
    • 4.13 Guam
    • 4.14 Hawaii
    • 4.15 Idaho
    • 4.16 Illinois
    • 4.17 Indiana
    • 4.18 Iowa
    • 4.19 Kansas
    • 4.20 Kentucky
    • 4.21 Louisiana
    • 4.22 Maine
    • 4.23 Maryland
    • 4.24 Massachusetts
    • 4.25 Michigan
    • 4.26 Minnesota
    • 4.27 Mississippi
    • 4.28 Missouri
    • 4.29 Montana
    • 4.30 Nebraska
    • 4.31 Nevada
    • 4.32 New Hampshire
    • 4.33 New Jersey
    • 4.34 New Mexico
    • 4.35 New York
    • 4.36 North Carolina
    • 4.37 North Dakota
    • 4.38 Ohio
    • 4.39 Oklahoma
    • 4.40 Oregon
    • 4.41 Pennsylvania
    • 4.42 Puerto Rico
    • 4.43 Rhode Island
    • 4.44 South Carolina
    • 4.45 South Dakota
    • 4.46 Tennessee
    • 4.47 Texas
    • 4.48 Utah
    • 4.49 Vermont
    • 4.50 Virginia
    • 4.51 Washington
    • 4.52 West Virginia
    • 4.53 Wisconsin
    • 4.54 Wyoming
  • 5 Internet transactions
  • 6 International sales
  • 7 VAT
  • 8 story
  • 9 See also
  • 10 references
  • 11 External links

Taxable items

The average effective sales tax for different income brackets for the combined 50 states (2007). Reported effective tax is calculated using a microsimulation model based on a sample of 1990 census records and statistics from the Internal Revenue Service for undisclosed years.

Sales taxes are only on taxable Transfers of goods or services collected. The tax is calculated as the tax rate multiplied by the taxable transaction value. Prices vary by state and location within a state. Not all types of transfers are taxable. The tax can be levied on sales to consumers and businesses.

Taxable sales

Transfers of tangible personal property for cash or promises to pay cash (sales) are often subject to sales tax, with exceptions. Sales tax does not apply to real estate transfers, although some states impose a real estate transfer or document tax on such transfers. All states provide some sales tax exemptions for wholesale sales, that is, sales for resale. However, some states tax sales for resale through vending machines.

The purchase of gift cards is not subject to sales tax in all federal states. These purchases are similar to exchanging cash. Sales tax is charged when gift cards are used as payment for taxable goods or services. There was a proposal in New York state to collect sales tax when buying a gift card instead of collecting it when using the card, but it failed.

Most states also exempt bulk sales, such as B. Sales of an Entire Company. Most states are exempt from sales tax purchased for use as ingredients or parts in further manufacture. Buyers who are exempt from tax must follow certain procedures or pay tax.

Sales to businesses and consumers are generally taxed equally, unless otherwise stated in the previous paragraph. Companies do not receive any compensation for VAT collection and payment obligations for their own purchases. This is very different from VAT.

The place and type of sale can affect whether a sale of certain goods is taxable. Many states tax food for on-site consumption, but not food that is sold for off-farm consumption. The use of the goods may also affect whether the sale is taxable. Goods used as ingredients in manufacture can avoid taxes when the same goods used as supplies may not.


Many states tax the rental of tangible personal property. Often times, the tax does not depend on the use for which the property is being used. Only Florida has sales tax on commercial property rentals.

Excepted Organizations

Many states exempt nonprofit, religious, and certain other organizations from sales or use taxes on goods purchased for use by the organization. In general, such exemption does not apply to any trade or business operated by the organization.

Use taxes

The states that levy sales tax also impose a similar tax on buyers of taxable property or services where no sales tax is paid. Use taxes functionally correspond to sales taxes. The sales and use taxes combined result in "a single tax on the sale or use of all tangible personal property, regardless of where it can be bought". Some states allow sales taxes paid in other states on goods purchased to be offset against the use tax in the taxpayer's state.

Taxable value

The amount subject to VAT is usually the net sales price. This price is usually valid after any discounts.

Some states exempt part of the sales or purchase price for some categories of goods from tax.

Taxable goods

The composition of state and local tax revenues around sales taxes (brown), property taxes (white), licenses and other fees (gray), private and commercial income taxes (green) in 2007.

No state levies sales tax on all types of goods. State laws differ greatly in terms of which goods are taxable. Food for preparation and consumption at home is often exempt from tax, as are prescription drugs. In contrast, restaurant meals are often taxed.

Many states provide exemptions for certain types of goods rather than other types. Certain types of food may be exempted and certain types may be taxable even if they are sold in a grocery store for personal consumption. Lists of which goods are taxable and which are not can be extensive.


Most states tax some services and some states tax many services. However, taxation of services is the exception rather than the rule. Few states tax the services of a doctor, dentist, or lawyer. Services related to the sale of tangible personal property are often taxed. However, most states offer tax services that are an integral part of the manufacture of goods, such as: B. Printing or furniture manufacturing.

Telecommunications services are subject to sales tax in most states, which is similar to sales tax. Few states tax internet access or other information services. State taxes seldom apply to construction work. Materials used in the construction of real estate may be subject to sales tax or completely exempt from sales tax for the builder, subcontractor, or the person hiring the builder.

Intangible property

Most sales tax laws don't apply to most intangible asset payments. Some states tax certain forms of transfers or licenses of intangible property. A common sales taxable transaction is the licensing of shrink wrap software. State courts have often found that numerous transfers of intangible rights are taxable unless specifically exempted.

Sale for resale

All states are exempt from sales or use tax purchases of goods made for resale in the same form. In many states, resale involves renting out the property purchased. If the property purchased is not exactly the property being resold, the purchase may be taxable. In addition, using the property prior to sale can nullify the resale exemption. Goods purchased for free distribution may be taxed on purchase in some states and not taxed in others.

Goods purchased to be used as ingredients in the manufacture of tangible personal property are generally not subject to tax. Purchases of food by a restaurant are generally not taxable in states where restaurant sales are taxed, although the ingredients are converted. Steel purchased as part of machinery is generally not taxable. However, supplies consumed by the same companies may be taxable. The criteria vary greatly depending on the state.

The purchase of goods for the purpose of providing services can be taxed. Airlines and hotels can be taxed on purchases of food that are intended to be provided as part of their services, e.g. B. In-flight meals or free breakfast. If a separate fee is charged for such goods, it can be assumed that they were purchased for resale.

Differentiation of goods from non-taxable items

Since services and intangible assets are typically not taxed, the distinction between a taxable sale of property, plant and equipment and a non-taxable service or intangible transfer is a major source of controversy. Many state tax administrators and courts look at the "true object" or "dominant purpose" of the transaction to determine whether it is a taxable sale. Some courts have examined the importance of ownership in relation to the services provided. When real estate is sold with an agreement to provide services (such as an extended warranty or service contract), the service agreement is generally treated as a separate sale when it can be purchased separately. The Michigan and Colorado courts took a more holistic approach, examining various factors for a particular transaction.

Collection, payment and tax declarations

Sales taxes are levied by vendors in most states. Usage taxes are levied on the buyers themselves. In many states, individuals and companies who regularly make sales are required to register with the state. All states that levy sales tax require that the levied taxes be paid to the state at least quarterly. Most states have thresholds that require more frequent payments. Some states give sellers a discount when paying the collected tax.

Sales taxes levied in some states are considered state-owned money, and a seller who does not remit the tax is in breach of fiduciary duty. Taxable property sellers are required to file tax returns in each jurisdiction in which they are required to collect sales tax. Most jurisdictions require the return to be submitted monthly, although sellers with low tax amounts due may be allowed to file less frequently.

Sales tax returns usually include all sales, taxable sales, sales by exemption category and the amount of tax due. When multiple tax rates are applied (for example, for different property classes sold), these amounts are typically reported for each tax rate. Some states combine state and local sales tax returns, but many local jurisdictions require separate reporting. Some jurisdictions allow or require that returns be submitted electronically.

Buyers of goods who have not paid sales tax in their own country must file tax returns to report taxable purchases. Many states allow such filing for individuals as part of individual income tax returns.

Exemption certificates

Buyers must pay sales tax unless they provide the seller with a certificate stating that the purchase is tax-exempt (certificate of exemption). The certificate must be on a form approved by the state. Thirty-eight states have approved the use of the Multistate Tax Commission's unified sales tax certificate.

Exceptions usually fall into two categories: usage-based or entity-based. Use-related exceptions are when an otherwise taxable item or service is used in a way that is deemed exempt. The resale exemption is the most common use-dependent exemption. Other use-dependent exceptions can be items or services intended to be used in manufacturing, research and development, or telproduction. Entity-based exemptions are when the item or service is exempted only because the buyer falls into a category that the state has granted exemption status. Exempt entities can be governments (federal, state, or local authorities), nonprofit organizations, religious organizations, tribal governments, or foreign diplomats. Each state decides for itself which usage and entity-related exemption to grant.


Penalties will be imposed on those required to file sales or use tax returns who do not file tax returns. Individuals who fail to properly pay the sales and use taxes when due will also be penalized. The penalties are usually based on the amount of tax not paid and vary by jurisdiction.

Tax audits

All states that levy sales tax review sales and tax returns of many taxpayers every year. After such a review, the state may propose an adjustment to the amount of tax due. Taxpayers have specific remedies that vary by jurisdiction. Some states require payment of taxes prior to appeal, and some states regard payment of taxes as recognition of tax liability.

Constitutional restrictions

After two now overturned decisions by the Supreme Court, Quill Corp. against North Dakota (1967) and National Bellas Hess versus Illinois (1992), states were not allowed to impose sales tax on sellers who had no physical presence or "connection" in the state, such as mail order companies, online shopping, and home shopping over the phone instead to charge an identical usage tax per transaction, but compliance is relatively low due to the difficulty of enforcement South Dakota v Wayfair, dated June 2018 reversed that interpretation of the trade clause, allowing states to collect sales tax from non-state traders when the consumer is in the state.

Several state constitutions place restrictions on sales tax. These restrictions restrict or prohibit the taxation of certain items, such as: B. Food.

According to jurisdiction

Sales tax rates and taxation vary by jurisdiction. The following table compares taxes on selected product groups in the states. Significant other differences apply. In the following table, the coverage of selected sales tax rates is abbreviated by federal state.

Summary table

colour Explanation
Exempt from general sales tax
Subject to general sales tax
7% Taxed at a higher tax rate than the general tax rate
3% Taxed at a lower rate than the general rate
3% + Some locations tax more
3% (Max) Some locations tax less
> $ 50 Taxed purchases over $ 50 (otherwise exempt)
No nationwide general sales tax
Federal district
or territory
value added tax
Overall with a maximum
local ancillary tax
Food prepared
Prescription only
Non prescription
dress Intangible assets Feminine hygiene
Alabama 4% 13,5%
Alaska 0% 7%
Arizona 5,6% 10,725%
Arkansas 6,5% 11,625% 0,125% +
California 7,25% 10,5%
Colorado 2,9% 10%
Connecticut 6,35% 6,35% 1%
Delaware 0% 0%
District of Columbia 6% 6% 10%
Florida 6% 7,5% 9% (Max)
Georgia 4% 8% 4% (Max)
Guam 4% 4%
Hawaii 4,166% 4,712%
Idaho 6% 8,5%
Illinois 6,25% 10,25% 1% + 8,25% + 1% + 1% +
Indiana 7% 7% 9% (Max)
Iowa 6% 7%
Kansas 6,5% 11,5%
Kentucky 6% 6%
Louisiana 4,45% 11,45% 7,0% (Max)
Maine 5,5% 5,5% 8%
Maryland 6% 6%
Massachusetts 6,25% 6,25% 7% (Max) > 175 USD
Michigan 6% 6%
Minnesota 6,875% 7,875% 10,775% (Max)
Mississippi 7% 7,25%
Missouri 4,225% 10,85% 1,225%
Montana 0% 0%
Nebraska 5,5% 7,5% 9,5%
Nevada 6,85% 8,25%
New Hampshire 0% 0% 9%
New Jersey 6,625% 12,625%
New Mexico 5,125% 8,688%
new York 4% 8,875% > 110 USD
North Carolina 4,75% 7,50% 2% 8,50% (Max)
North Dakota 5% 8%
Ohio 5,75% 8% Food in
Oklahoma 4,5% 11%
Oregon 0% 0%
Pennsylvania 6% 8%
Puerto Rico 10,5% 11,5% 1%
Rhode Island 7% 7% 8% > 250 USD
South carolina 6% 9% 10,5%
South Dakota 4% 6%
Tennessee 7% 9,75% 4% +
Texas 6,25% 8,25%
Utah 5,95% 8,35% 3%
Vermont 6% 7% 9% +
Virginia 5,3% 6% 2,5% 5,3% +
Washington 6,5% 10,4% 10% (Max)
West Virginia 6% 7%
Wisconsin 5% 6,75%
Wyoming 4% 6%


  • These states tax groceries but grant an income tax credit to compensate poor households: Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wyoming.
  • In California and Utah (1.25%) and Virginia (1.0%), uniform local taxes are included in the base rate.


Alabama has a general sales tax of 4% plus any additional local city and county taxes. As of August 2015, the highest general sales tax rate in Alabama is in the Arab parts of Cullman County, which is 13.5%. Alabama is one of the last three states where groceries are still taxed at the full state sales tax rate, which disproportionately affects minorities and low-income families and young children.

City Tax Rates

  • Montgomery has 10% total sales tax, as does Birmingham and Mobile.
  • Huntsville has a 9% sales tax in most parts of the city in Madison County. The smaller part of Huntsville in Limestone County has 10.5% sales tax due to Limestone County's 2% higher sales tax. This only affects a few retail businesses on I-565 Servicestrasse.
  • Decatur has 9% total sales tax on most of the city limits, but 10% total sales tax in the small part of Limestone County due to higher county taxes.
  • The highest sales tax in Alabama is Flomation, Alabama, with sales tax of 11%.


There is no state sales tax in Alaska. However, local governments - which include counties, the Alaska equivalent of counties and parishes - can collect up to 7.5 percent. By January 2009 there were 108. Local sales taxes are levied in addition to any district sales taxes. Regulations and exemptions vary widely across the state. The two largest cities, Anchorage and Fairbanks, have no local sales tax. The state capital Juneau has a sales tax rate of 5 percent.


Arizona has a Transaction Privilege Tax (TPT), which differs from a real sales tax in that it is a gross income tax, a tax levied on the gross income of the seller, rather than a consumer's liability. Sellers are allowed to pass the tax amount on to the consumer, but remain the parties liable for the tax to the state. TPT is introduced under 16 tax classifications, but most retail stores are taxed at 6.6%.

Cities and counties can contribute up to 6 percent to the total rate. Groceries for personal use, prescription drugs (including prescription drugs and certain prescribed homeopathic remedies), and many other tangible items are exempt from government TPT retail. Cities can, and many do, levy taxes on food. Arizona's TPT is one of the few excise taxes in the country that is levied on contract activities rather than the sale of building materials. Phoenix, the capital and largest city, has a 2% TPT rate.

A usage tax is levied on purchases from non-government online retailers and catalogs. A law passed in July 2011 requires Arizona residents to report how much tax they owe.

Indian reservations in Arizona have their own sales taxes, and these are some of the highest sales tax rates in the United States. The country's highest sales tax as of 2012, 13.725%, was found in Tuba City.


Arkansas has a state sales tax of 6.50%. City taxes range from an additional 0.25% to 3.5% and the district taxes could be as high as 3.25%. Including city and county taxes, the highest sales tax rate in the parts of Mansfield, Scott County is 11.625%.

Effective January 1, 2019, Arkansas state sales tax on unprepared food (groceries) was reduced from 1.5% to 0.125% (1/8 of 1%). The sales tax on groceries was previously from 2% on July 1, 2011 to 1.5%, from 3% on July 1, 2009 to 2% and from 6% on December 1, 2009. July 2007 has been reduced to 3%. Local sales tax on food remained unchanged.


California has a property sales tax of 7.25% from 1991 to 2012 and since 2017, composed of a state tax of 6% and a flat local tax of 1.25%. California has the 10th highest average combined state and local sales tax rate in the US at 8.25%. As of July 2019, prices in the city vary between 7.25% and 10.5% (Santa Fe Springs). Sales and use taxes are collected by the California Department of Taxes and Fee Administration (prior to July 2017, these taxes were collected by the California State Board of Equalization). Income taxes and franchise taxes are collected separately by the California Franchise Tax Board.

In general, sales tax is levied on all purchases of tangible personal property to the end consumer. Medical devices such as prostheses and dental implants are exempt from sales tax, with the exception of dental prostheses such as dentures, orthoses / orthopedic devices, and dental crowns, which the state treats as personal property. Food, baked goods, hot beverages, candy, livestock, grains and seeds, fertilizers for growing food, certain devices related to alternative energy, and one-time sales are also exempt from sales tax.


The state sales tax in Colorado is 2.9%, with some cities and counties adding additional taxes. The Denver material tax is 3.62%, with food consumed outside the home being taxed at 4%. Most unprepared foods (groceries) are exempt. A football stadium tax that expired on December 31, 2011, but still includes a local transport tax and a tax on scientific and cultural institutions. The total sales tax varies depending on the city and district. The total sales tax on an item purchased in Falcon, Colorado is 5.13% (2.9% state, 1.23% county, and 1% PPRTA). The sales tax rate in Larimer County is around 7.5%. Most transactions in the Denver area are taxed at a combined total of approximately 8%. The Denver non-food sales tax rate is 7.62%. Food and beverages make up a total of 8.00% and rental cars make up a total of 11.25%.


Connecticut has 6.35% sales tax that has been levied from 6% to 6.25% state, 0% county, and 0.1% city as of July 1, 2011. Most unprepared foods are exempt, as are prescription drugs, all internet services, all magazine and newspaper subscriptions, and textbooks (students only). Compact fluorescent lights are also tax-free under Connecticut law.

Shipping and handling charges, including US postage charges levied by a retailer to a customer, are subject to sales and use taxes when levied in connection with the sale of taxable tangible personal property or services. The tax also applies if the fees are shown separately and regardless of whether the shipping or delivery is provided by the seller or a third party. No tax will be charged on shipping and handling related to sales that are not subject to sales tax or use tax. Postage or shipping costs associated with sales to resell or sell exempt items are not taxable. Similarly, fees for postal or delivery services are not subject to tax if they are levied in connection with the sale of non-taxable services.


Delaware does not impose sales tax on consumers. However, the state imposes a tax on the gross income of most companies and a 4.25% document fee on vehicle registrations. The tax rates for commercial and professional licenses are between 0.096 and 1.92 percent, depending on the category of business activity.

District of Columbia

The District of Columbia has a sales tax rate of 5.75% as of October 1, 2013. The tax is levied on the sale of tangible personal property and selected services. (Unprepared food, including mineral water and pet food, is not subject to sales tax. However, soda and sports drinks are subject to sales tax.) Alcohol sold for off-site consumption is subject to a 10% tax. 10% on restaurant meals (including implementation) and rental cars, 18% on parking spaces and 14.5% on hotel accommodation. Portions of the tax rate for hotel and restaurant meals are allocated to the Convention Center Fund. Food, prescription and non-prescription drugs, and private utility services are exempt from district sales tax.

The district once had two sales tax breaks per year, one during "back to school" and one just before Christmas. The "back to school" tax leave was lifted on May 12, 2009.

On January 1, 2010, the district began levying a 5 cents per bag tax on every plastic or paper bag provided by a retailer at the point of sale when that retailer sells groceries or alcohol. The retailer keeps a dime or two cents of the tax for offering customers a refund for bringing their own bags. The remaining three or four cents go to the district's Anacostia River Cleanup Fund.


Florida has a general sales tax rate of 6%. Miami-Dade County, like most Florida counties, has an additional 1% sales tax. The tax is levied on the sale or rental of goods, ticket sales, rental, licensing or rental of real estate, rental or rental of temporary living space, and the sale of a limited number of services such as commercial pest control, commercial cleaning and certain Protection services. There are a variety of tax exemptions, including groceries and recipes.

Sales tax and discretionary sales tax are calculated for each taxable transaction. Florida uses a bracket system to calculate sales tax when the transaction is between two whole dollar amounts. Multiply the total dollar amount by the tax rate (6 percent plus the county surtax rate) and use the bracket system to calculate the tax on the amount under a dollar. The Treasury Department has tariff lists (form DR-2X) designed to help residents.

A "discretionary sales tax" of up to 2.5% can be levied by the counties, which is calculated at the rate of the destination country (if sent). This is 1% in most counties, 0.5% in many, and 1.5% in some like Leon. Effective 2019, Hillsborough County's surcharge has been increased to 2.5%. Some counties do not have additional ancillary taxes. Most have an expiration date, but some don't. Only the first $ 5,000 of a large purchase is subject to surcharge tax. Most counties levy the surcharge for education or transportation improvements.

There are annual sales tax breaks, such as For example, a back-to-school tax leave in August for clothing, shoes and school supplies at a price that can change each year, and one in June 2007 to help prepare for hurricanes. The 2008 legislators did not enact any sales tax holidays.

Florida also allows counties to levy a "tourism development tax" of up to 13% for stays of 6 months or less at a hotel, apartment hotel, motel, resort motel, apartment, apartment motel, apartment building, mobile home park. Amusement vehicle park, condominium, or timeshare resort.

In May 2010, Florida passed a law that limits sales tax on boats or ships to a maximum of $ 18,000, regardless of purchase price. This should encourage owners not to leave the state after purchase or label them "offshore", which most owners did before this law was passed. As a result, the Florida Treasury has seen a dramatic increase in sales tax revenue from boat sales.

Florida is the only state that collects sales tax on commercial or residential property rentals and brings in more than $ 1 billion in tax annually. Residential rents of more than six months are exempt from tax.


Georgia has had a state sales tax rate of 4% since April 1, 1989, when it was increased from 3%. Services (including postage but not shipping) and prescription drugs are not taxed at all, while over-the-counter drugs, drug store medical devices, and other basic necessities are fully taxed. Since the 1990s, groceries (packaged foods not intended for local consumption) have been exempt from state sales tax, but are still subject to the local sales tax rate. Since the beginning of the 2010s, grocery stores (even without caf├ęs) prepared Products such as fresh bread from the bakery are taxed as if they were not food, although these are clearly basic needs for home consumption.

Districts in Georgia may levy a 1%, 2%, or 3% local sales tax that consists of up to three 1% sales taxes on local options (out of five) as allowed by Georgian law. These include a special tax (SPLOST) for certain project lists, an all-purpose tax (LOST), a tax exemption for homesteads (HOST) and an education tax for public schools (ELOST), which can be submitted by the school authorities for a referendum (Der Landkreis and one of its Cities must agree) instead of the district commission (in cooperation with the city councils) like the other taxes. Also, the city of Atlanta levies an additional 1% sales tax on municipal options (MOST) allowed under special Georgia General Assembly laws and last renewed by voters in the February 2016 through 2020 presidential primaries Water and Sewer Systems, mainly by separating rainwater sewers from sewers. In April 2016, a November referendum was signed for an additional half a percent for MARTA, but only for the city of Atlanta, after lawmakers from the affluent northern suburbs refused to push the bill unless their districts were excluded. This essentially limits the use of funds for the Atlanta Beltline until 2057, as this is the only expansion project within the city limits, and blocks an extension of the northern (red) line to Roswell and Alpharetta, where it is most needed to ease traffic congestion .

As of March 2016, the total sales tax rate in Georgia is 3% for groceries and 7% for other items in 107 of the 159 counties. Seven counties only levy 2% local taxes (6% total on non-food), and no district levies zero or 1%, but 45 now levy 4% (8% total) because of the TSPLOSTs. Some exempt food partially (but not entirely) from local tax by charging 1% less for food outside the restaurant than for other items. Fulton and DeKalb counties (and Clayton since 2015) charge 1% for MARTA, and the adjacent metro Atlanta counties can do so by referendum if they so choose. For the parts of Fulton and DeKalb within the city of Atlanta, the grand total is 4% and 3% for groceries and 8% for other items due to the MOST and DeKalbs exemption of groceries from the HOST. Muscogee cities and counties have a "different" tax listed than one of their three 1% taxes.