By Jay Heflin - 08/09/10 08:30 PM EDT
"From the increases in consumer taxes, it's evident that many states are trying to shore up revenue shortfalls," said CCH Senior State Tax Analyst Daniel Schibley in prepared remarks. "Many other states have not yet increased taxes, but may [do] so."
While the tax on gasoline has gone up, it may not be felt since the price per gallon has recently dropped. Still, in states like California, the tax on gas has practically doubled in the past year, from 18 cents to 35.3 cents a gallon.
Over the past year, five states have increased their sales-tax rate: Arizona, Kansas, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and North Carolina. The District of Colombia has also increased its sales tax.
The increases range from the incremental — like in New Mexico, where the 5 percent sales tax was raised to 5.125 percent — to Massachusetts, where the rate jumped from 5 percent to 6.25 percent. Of the fifty states, 25 of them now impose a sales tax of 6 percent or more, which does not include city and other local jurisdiction taxes.
Of the 11 states that have increased the tax on cigarettes, New York is by far the highest. It slaps each pack with a $4.35 tax, which is up from $2.75 last year. There are four other states that have raised cigarette taxes to $3.00 or more per pack over the past year: Connecticut, Hawaii, Rhode Island and Washington.
Delaware, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Wisconsin have also increased their tax on cigarettes since last year. The biggest percentage increase occurred in South Carolina, where the tax went from 7 cents a pack, the lowest in the nation, to 57 cents a pack. Missouri now has the lowest cigarette tax at 17 cents per pack, which has not been raised since last year.