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10 States With the Highest Sales Taxes

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Before you embark on a shopping spree in any of the 10 worst states for sales taxes, make extra room in your budget. These states' sales tax rates are high, and local sales taxes can push the tab even higher. For example, Tennessee has the nation's second-highest average combined sales tax rate, at 9.46%, once both state and local sales taxes are factored in, according to the Tax Foundation.

But retirees and other relocators shouldn't judge a state by its sales tax alone. Residents of the Volunteer State pay no state income tax, for instance, making Tennessee one of the more tax-friendly states for retirement despite the high sales taxes. More good news for budget-conscious retirees: Most states exempt food and prescription drugs from state sales taxes, or charge a lower rate for those items.

SEE ALSO: 13 States That Tax Social Security


Kiplinger's state-by-state guide to taxes on retirees is updated annually based on information from state tax departments, Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting and the Tax Foundation. All data are for the 2017 tax year unless otherwise noted. Combined state and local sales tax rates were calculated by the Tax Foundation.


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