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Wednesday, 20 January 2010

No Tax to Pay?

Most states carry a sales tax of between 2.9% (Colorado) and 8.25% (California), and sometimes there are County sales taxes or City sales taxes on top. Generally you can add about 6% to the shelf price for anything you buy except a few basic foods.

Oregon is one of only five US states that do not impose any form of general sales tax on the sale or use of tangible personal property within the state. (Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Oregon).

In practise this makes shopping a lot simpler, as the price you see on the shelf matches the price at the till. Why the sales taxes aren't incorporated into the shelf price in other states is beyond me, but they aren't, so you get that nasty and confusing sting at the till.

For an Englishman, used to seeing the price you pay, that makes life much simpler, and as we've been in shopping mode the last six weeks it's also made life quite a bit cheaper. We'll be having another big bout of shopping when we have a house to furnish, but meantime it's still a daily blessing to be able to tot up your purchases as you go along.

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