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What States Don’t Have Sales Tax?

Sales tax is a common form of consumption tax imposed by state and local governments on the sale of goods and services. However, not all states levy sales tax on purchases. In this article, we’ll explore which states don’t have sales tax, examine the reasons behind their tax policies, and discuss the impact of sales tax absence on residents and businesses.

What States Don't Have Sales Tax?

Understanding Sales Tax

What is Sales Tax?

Sales tax is a percentage-based tax levied on the sale of goods and services at the point of purchase. The tax rate varies by state and locality and may apply to different types of transactions, including retail sales, restaurant meals, lodging, and vehicle purchases.

Purpose of Sales Tax:

Sales tax serves as a source of revenue for state and local governments, funding essential public services such as education, infrastructure, healthcare, and public safety. It also helps maintain a balanced budget and supports economic development initiatives.

States Without Sales Tax

List of States Without Sales Tax:

As of current year, five states in the United States do not impose sales tax:

  1. Alaska
  2. Delaware
  3. Montana
  4. New Hampshire
  5. Oregon

Reasons Behind No Sales Tax:

The absence of sales tax in these states can be attributed to various factors:

  • Alaska’s Oil Revenue: Alaska relies heavily on revenue generated from oil and gas production, allowing the state to forego sales tax and instead fund government operations through other sources, including oil royalties and severance taxes.
  • Delaware’s Corporate Presence: Delaware benefits from a significant corporate presence due to its business-friendly tax policies, including no sales tax. The state generates revenue through corporate taxes and fees associated with business incorporation.
  • Montana’s Tourism Industry: Montana’s economy benefits from tourism, outdoor recreation, and agriculture, making sales tax avoidance a strategic decision to attract visitors and support local businesses.
  • New Hampshire’s Property Taxes: New Hampshire offsets the absence of sales tax with relatively high property taxes and other revenue sources, including business profits tax and meals and rooms tax.
  • Oregon’s Income Tax: Oregon relies on income tax revenue to fund state services, choosing not to impose sales tax as an alternative tax structure. The absence of sales tax is viewed as a competitive advantage for businesses and residents.

Impact on Residents and Businesses

Benefits of No Sales Tax:

States without sales tax offer several advantages for residents and businesses:

  • Cost Savings: Consumers enjoy lower prices on goods and services compared to states with sales tax, resulting in cost savings and increased purchasing power.
  • Business Attraction: No sales tax can attract businesses seeking a favorable tax environment, stimulating economic growth, job creation, and investment in the local economy.
  • Tourism Promotion: States without sales tax may draw tourists and shoppers from neighboring states, boosting tourism revenue and supporting local businesses.

Challenges and Considerations:

While the absence of sales tax offers benefits, it also presents challenges:

  • Revenue Volatility: States without sales tax may experience revenue volatility and dependency on alternative revenue sources, leading to budgetary challenges during economic downturns.
  • Budget Constraints: Limited revenue streams may constrain funding for public services and infrastructure projects, requiring careful budget management and prioritization of expenditures.
  • Border Effects: Neighboring states with sales tax may experience “border effects,” where residents cross state lines to make purchases, potentially impacting local businesses and tax revenue.


States without sales tax offer unique advantages for residents and businesses, including cost savings, business attraction, and tourism promotion. However, the absence of sales tax poses challenges related to revenue volatility, budget constraints, and border effects.

By understanding the reasons behind no sales tax policies and their implications, policymakers can make informed decisions to balance revenue needs, economic development goals, and fiscal sustainability. Whether sales tax is present or absent, effective fiscal management and strategic planning are essential for supporting vibrant economies and thriving communities.

Also read: How to File Taxes for a Small Business?

Dane Jean
Dane Jean
Senior Editor and Writer At Armlet News.


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