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New Jersey Consumer Tax Laws

Every state collects revenue from a combination of sources, mainly through sales tax and/or personal income tax. Proceeds from consumer taxes are used for education, highways, police, and many other state needs. New Jersey is known as having one of the lowest gasoline taxes in the country, and also collects taxes on liquor, tobacco, and gambling revenue.

Sales taxes are paid directly to the New Jersey Divison of Taxation by retailers, who add the cost of the tax at the point of sale.

Use tax refers to the tax that is levied on goods or services purchased tax-free in another state and brought to New Jersey for storage and/or use. If tax was paid in the state of purchase, but at lesser rate than New Jersey's rate, then the purchaser must pay the difference. The use tax rate in New Jersey is 7 percent, which is the same as the retail sales tax rate.

New Jersey has one of the highest cigarette tax rates in the nation, at $2,70 per pack of 20. But the state's alcohol taxes are in line with that of other states. Excise taxes on certain consumer products, such as alcohol and tobacco, are often called "sin taxes," since they typically are meant to discourage certain behaviors. Gasoline tax also is considered an excise tax, but the proceeds are used for maintaining highways.

Certain automobile purchases are tax-exempt in New Jersey, including (but not limited to):

  • Federal or state government, or affiliated agencies
  • School buses
  • Used mobile homes
  • Limousines
  • 100% zero-emission vehicles
  • Vehicles acquired through will or inheritance

New Jersey's consumer tax rates are listed in the table below, with links to additional sources. See FindLaw's Tax Law section for more articles.

Sales Tax 6.875% §54:32B-3
Cigarette Tax $2.70/pack §54:40A-8
Gasoline Tax per Gallon 10.5¢ §54:39-27
Use Tax 6.875% §54:32B-6
Liquor Tax Beer 12¢ /gal.; Wine 87.5¢ per gal.; Spirits $5.50/gal. §54:43-1
Gambling Tax 8% of gross revenues §5:12-144

Note: State laws may change at time through the enactment of newly signed legislation, higher court decisions, or other means. You may want to contact a New Jersey tax attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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New Jersey Consumer Tax Laws: Related Resources

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If you are a consumer, then taxes on sales, gasoline, alcohol, and other consumer goods are already included in the price at the point of purchase. But if you have questions about use tax, or if you're a business owner in need of additional information about collecting taxes, you may want professional legal assistance. Get started today with a free assessment of your tax situation.

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