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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

At any rate

Are there really so many people not paying attention?

This led to my wondering how many actually know what the state tax rate is for non-food items such as books, televisions, and clothing.

I included it as a survey/quiz question and asked three different groups of individuals for a total of 58 responses. Of those that responded, only 69 percent correctly chose 7 percent, and the guesses given ranged from 3 percent to 10 percent.

As one might expect, the older the individual, the more likely they were to give the correct answer. But still, only 82 percent of those that would fall into the category of working adults knew the right rate.

When you think about the sheer number of purchases that are made during the course of a year, and the tax that gets added to each, you have to question how this scenario can be.

He speculates that the problem might be that most of the time these days we can just swipe a cebit or credit car instead of having to count out actual dollars and cents. That may be part of it, but I think most of us instinctively think of totals, not components of the total. I'm aware of rising grocery costs because I buy the same things every trip and can see the difference in the aggregate, but I'd have a hard time telling you the prices of individual items on my shopping list.


Harl Delos
Thu, 02/14/2013 - 2:07pm

Clothing is tax-exempt in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  I don't know how many other states do that.  

Last I knew, Ohio charges sales tax on eat-in food, but exempts take-out food.  You could buy chocolate coating and peanuts in Ohio tax-free as foodstuffs, but chocolate-covered peanuts were taxable.  Milk is tax-free, but water was taxable.

The laws are so complicated, they need to encode the rules into cash registers and scan everything in order to not require a PhD in Sales Taxology to be a cashier.