Consumer taxes include things like retail sales tax, taxes on cigarettes and alcoholic beverages, gasoline tax, and other taxes related to specific goods.
Sales tax is collected in most states (with a few exceptions) and used to pay for public services. Your schools, fire departments and water services are typically funded by state sales taxes. 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. Arizona consumer tax laws levy a 5.6% rate on retail sales, for instance.
Taxes in Arizona
Arizona levies an 18 cent tax per gallon of gasoline, which is considerably lower than its neighbor to the west. For comparison, the highest gasoline tax rate is California's 39.5 cents per gallon. Arizona's cigarette tax rate, meanwhile, checks in at $1.18 per pack of 20. This is relatively high and certainly higher than that in neighboring states like New Mexico. This combined with cheaper prices on American Indian reservations have helped actually fuel a growing black market for cigarettes in Arizona, according to a Washington D.C. think tank. Arizona does fund public service projects via the cigarette tax, too. For comparison's sake, the highest cigarette tax can be found in Massachusetts, where it is $3.51 per pack.
Arizona'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 per gallon; the rate for table wine is 84 cents per gallon; and the beer tax is 16 cents per gallon. These taxes are paid to the state by liquor retailers, such as bars and restaurants and convenience stores, but the costs are reflected in the prices charged to consumers.
The following chart lists the main consumer taxes in Arizona, with additional links to more general, tax-related information. See FindLaw's Tax Law section for more articles and resources.
|Sales Tax||5.6% §42-5010|
|Cigarette Tax||$1.18/pack of 20 §42-3052|
|Gasoline Tax per Gallon||18¢ §28-5606|
|Use Tax||Same as sales for same type of activity §42-5155|
|Liquor Tax||Beer 16¢/gal.; Wine <24% 84¢/gal., >24% 25¢ per gal.; Spirits $3.00/gal. §42-3052|
Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact an Arizona tax law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
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