Taxes bad in Tucson? Be thankful you do not live in Tuba City.
Arizona taxes us more than most…while we make less. Now we are told we should be thankful because Arizona is finally slowing down our tax increases.
According to a report released last week, Arizona collected more taxes last month than the legislature had forecast in its 2011-2012 budget estimate. In fact, the Arizona Joint Legislative Budget Committee reported October 2011 tax revenue growth was driven by strong individual income tax collections. Arizona tax revenue has now increased for 15 straight months. (AP, 2011)
In other words, for 15 months during a recession, while Arizonans lost jobs and homes, their state has been taking more and more of their money.
Statewide, total general fund tax collections were nearly $668 million – $55 million above the forecast amount – and more than 16% above October 2010. While personal income has dropped an average of 8% throughout the state, personal income tax collections rose nearly 30% over last year.
And Tuba City, Arizona has the highest sales taxes in all the United States. Arizona’s general sales tax rate is 5.6 %. The cities of Marana, Oro Valley, and Tucson have a 2 % sales tax rates. Tuba City has a combined rate of 13.725%, composed of a 6.6% state tax, a 1.125% Coconino county tax, and 6% levied by the To’Nanees’Dizi tribal government. (Drenkard, 2011)
For national taxes, Vertex Inc., a leading provider of corporate tax software, information and services worldwide, issued a reportproviding population-weighted averages of sales taxes per state. The Vertex report compares the five highest combined sales tax rates: Tennessee at 9.43 %, Arizona at 9.12 %, Louisiana at 8.84 %, Washington at 8.79 % and Oklahoma at 8.66 %.
Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon do not have sales taxes. Among states that do collect a statewide tax, the five with the lowest average combined rates are Hawaii (4.35 percent), Maine (5 percent), Virginia (5 percent), Wyoming (5.34 percent), and Wisconsin (5.43 percent).
The continued recession has finally dawned on the Tax and Spend crowd. There are fewer new taxes, but still, the old taxes remain at record levels.
“The number of rate changes and new taxes across the U.S. declined compared to last year, continuing a trend we saw at the end of 2010,” said John Minassian, Chief Tax Officer for Vertex. “While the average combined rate continues to reach record levels, it appears that the steep rate increases and pace of tax changes of the last eight years have slowed to some degree in 2011. (Minassian, 2011)
Increases slowed to some degree? Will Tuba City give thanks?
AP, (2011). KGUN 9 TV. Associated Press. Arizona Tax Revenue up for Fifteenth straight Month. http://www.kgun9.com/news/regional/134228788.html
Drenkard, S. (2011). Fiscal Fact. Tax Foundation. Ranking state and local sales taxes. http://taxfoundation.org/files/ff284.pdf
Minassian, J. (2011). Vertex Inc. Average combined sales and use tax continues to rise in 2011. Tuba city data:http://www.vertexinc.com/PressRoom/2011/Vertex-6-month-2011-Rate%20Report-FINAL.pdf?ref=rss