NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


July 10, 2007

Don't drive in Washington state or Pennsylvania, take up smoking in New Jersey or try to buy much of anything in Rhode Island.  Those are some of the more glaring examples from a midyear survey of state consumption taxes conducted by researchers with CCH Inc.

As for Arizona, things aren't much better:

  • Arizona ranked above-average in all three measures, including cigarette, gasoline and general sales taxes.
  • It tied for fourth overall on cigarette taxes, with a levy of $2 per pack.

But it's not as bad as some:

  • Arizona's tax of 18 cents per gallon on gasoline is above average, but just half of Washington state's rate.
  • The 5.6 percent general state sales tax in Arizona is also above average in a category where four states share top honors at 7 percent.
  • Ten states now charge higher cigarette-tax rates than a year ago, including Arizona, which boosted its levy by 82 cents per pack.

In a separate report, the Dallas-based National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) noted that revenue from some of the above taxes is raised disproportionately from the poor.  The NCPA asserted, for example, that high school dropouts who smoke spend three to four times as much of their income on tobacco as professionals who smoke.  It also reported that the poor spend disproportionately more on gasoline and gasoline taxes.

Source: Russ Wiles, "State ranks near top on sales taxes, sin levies," Arizona Republic, July 10, 2007.

For CCH Inc. survey: 


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