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Looking to increase your sales tax burden? Move to Chicago!

March 3, 2008 · 12 comments

Your tourist souvenirs in the Windy City just got a little more expensive. As of November 2008, Chicago will become the most expensive city in the United States for paying sales tax.

Cook County voted to double the county sales tax to 1.75% putting Chicago’s total sales tax bite at a whopping 10.25%. That officially makes Chicago the city with the highest sales tax in the country – a dubious honor for sure. It may make sense for many Chicago residents to consider taking a sales tax deduction on their respective federal income tax returns at that rate.

Previously, the highest rate in the country was 9.25% for… Memphis? Yeah, I was surprised, too.

New York City, Philadelphia and Los Angeles pay less than 8.5%.

Are you reading, Philly? For once, we are not number one in taxes (insert loud applause and whistles here).

Be sure and chime in on my prior sales tax survey and let me know the sales tax rates where you live.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 PiperTax March 3, 2008 at 5:09 pm

Ah yes, but it’s a small price to pay for our lovely weather! ;)

2 Lori November 17, 2008 at 8:08 pm

Can someone tell me, if we have a new 10.25% tax rate, why is my starbucks receipt listing an 11.5% tax? Is this correct? Is it higher for carry out?

3 Kelly November 17, 2008 at 8:16 pm

I’m not sure. I’ve asked Starbucks, hopefully they’ll be able to answer!

4 Lori November 25, 2008 at 2:24 am

I’ve asked them too and they tell me it’s because we’re in the city. I told them that all the restaurants in the general area are 10.25% and they don’t seem to have an answer.

5 centran December 3, 2008 at 5:26 pm

It is 10.25 unless you are “restaurant” then add .25 restaurant tax.
That brings you to 10.50 but if you are within Chicago’s Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA) boundaries you have to add another 1% which brings your total tax to 11.5

6 Andrew March 13, 2009 at 3:31 pm

Chicago is not alone with 10.25% sales tax! South Gate and Pico Rivera, California both will have sales tax rates of 10.25% as of April 1, 2009. Los Angeles’ sales tax rate will increase to 9.25% on this date as well.

7 Max April 16, 2009 at 10:50 pm

Don’t forget that groceries are still exempt from several sales taxes (state included), so you only pay 2.25%. Small consolation, I know.

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