Sales tax is collected in most states and used to pay for public services such as schools, roads, and police departments. Additionally, states typically collect taxes from non-essential items such as cigarettes and liquor, as well as taxes on gasoline, in order to curtail their use. Georgia consumer tax laws levy a 4% rate on retail sales, with relatively low taxes on cigarettes and gasoline.
Georgia levies a 0.26 cent tax per gallon of gasoline, recently increased from a rate which was the third-lowest in the country. This increase brings the total higher to the highest gasoline tax rate in the nation,i California's 39.5 cents per gallon. Georgia's cigarette tax rate remains quite low, though, at 37 cents per pack of 20; the highest cigarette tax can be found in Massachusetts, where it is $3.51 per pack.
But Georgia's alcohol taxes are more in line with national averages. The tax rate for "spirits," which includes distilled liquor such as whiskey and vodka, is $3.79 per gallon; the rate for table wine is $1.51 per gallon; and the beer tax is $1.01 per gallon. These taxes are paid to the state by liquor retailers, such as bars and restaurants, but the costs are reflected in the prices charged to consumers.
Use tax is levied on "tangible personal property" that is purchased in another state (and not taxed there) but exclusively used, stored, or consumed in Georgia. The state's use tax rate is the same as the sales tax rate.
The following chart lists the main consumer taxes in Georgia, with additional links to more general, tax-related information. See FindLaw's Tax Law section for more articles and resources.
|Sales Tax||4% §48-8-30|
|Cigarette Tax||37¢/pack of 20 cigarettes §48-11-2|
|Gasoline Tax per Gallon||0.26¢ §48-9-3|
|Use Tax||4% §48-8-30|
|Liquor Tax||Beer $10 per barrel, in bottles or cans 4.5¢ /12 oz.; Wine 40¢ per liter + 27¢ excise tax on dessert wine; Spirits 50¢ per liter, $1.00per liter imported §§3-5-60; 3-6-50; 3-4-60, 3-5-80|
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
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