The taxes paid by U.S. consumers are rising higher overall at gas pumps, retail stores and cigarette counters, according to a new survey.
Eight states have higher gas taxes now than a year ago, with Minnesota's 2-cent hike the largest increase, according to an annual survey by CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business.
CCH has drawn a map of the widely varying gas, sales and cigarette tax rates across the U.S. as of July 1.
The sales tax rate has risen by 1 percent in Indiana, Iowa and Maryland. Utah is the only state to lower its sales tax rate, by 0.10 percent to 4.65 percent.
The greatest variation among the states is seen in cigarette taxes. Nine states are charging higher rates this July than last. Delaware raised its rate by 60 cents to $1.15; Hawaii's rate increased 20 cents to $1.80; Maryland and Massachusetts increased their rates by $1; New Hampshire raised its rate by 28 cents to $1.08; New York's rate climbed by $1.25 to $2.75, the highest in the nation; South Dakota upped its rate by $1 to $1.53; Vermont raised its rate by 20 cents, to $1.99; and Wisconsin raised its rate by $1 to $1.77.
"Sales tax revenues are an important part of most state budgets, and gas taxes are the source of funds for state road building and maintenance, along with the federal matching funds they bring in," said CCH state tax analyst Dan Schibley in a statement. "This poses a quandary for states that may want to lower these tax rates in the current hard economic times, especially when sales tax revenues are already weakening because people are buying less."
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