1. Tuba City and part of Coconino County, Ariz.
The dubious honor of having America’s highest sales tax–by far–goes to Arizona’s largest Navajo Indian Reservation town, which tacks on nearly $1 to a $7 purchase. Not all the hit is paid by the tourists streaming along U.S. Route 160 to the Grand Canyon; Tuba City has 8,200 residents.
2. Kayenta, Ariz.
Arizona’s big increase in its statewide sales tax–from 5.6% to 6.6%–put Kayenta, another Navajo Indian Reservation town, in the runner-up position on this list. Much of the levy is paid by tourists to nearby Monument Valley. Keyenta’s official website has sections on financial matters and tourism–but they sure don’t mention this.
3. Various places, Coconino County, Ariz.
Home to virtually all of the Grand Canyon and the largest county in the continental U.S., Coconino County takes good advantage of tourists. The lofty sales tax is found on the Navajo Reservation, which covers a quarter of the county, and in the non-reservation town of Fredonia, sitting on one of the only two routes to the North Rim.
4. San Luis, Ariz.
This Colorado River city’s border crossing with Mexico guarantees that many people passing through have to stop. And when they do, San Luis adds its 4% city tax to the state’s 6.6% and Yuma County’s 1.1%.
5. Central City, La.
Louisiana’s newest city, this Baton Rouge suburb wedged between two rivers now has the state’s highest sales tax bite. Its website proclaims “a community that cares”–about taxes, anyway.
6. Winkelman, Ariz.
This old mining town north of Tucson sits in an area infamous for 19th-century killers like “Jack The Ripper of Ash Creek.” These days, the 440 residents and passing travelers get killed by the sales tax. But those in the part of town over in Gila County pay 0.1% less.
7. Mansfield, Ark.
The 50-inch annual rainfall isn’t the only thing soaking residents of this tiny town south of Fort Smith. Residents of the eastern part in Scott County pay the state’s highest sales tax.
8. Various cities, Apache and Navajo Counties, Ariz.
In Arizona’s northeast corner, more than a dozen Navajo Indian Reservation towns impose this hefty levy. It consists of a 6.6% state tax, a 4% trial tax and a 0.5% local tax.
9. Arab, Ala. (tie)
With a 1% cut in the combined sales tax, the small portion of this northeastern Alabama city sticking into Cullman County no longer sports the country’s highest such levy. The town’s name comes from Washington, D.C., bureaucrats who misread the name on an application to open a post office.
9. Somerton, Ariz. (tie)
Nestled in Arizona’s southwest corner near California and Mexico, the town sits on land that was part of a fraudulent Mexican land grant. Today’s sales tax bite, though, is very real.
9. Dermott and Eudora, Ark. (tie)
The two towns are in Chicot County, which hugs the Mississippi River in the state’s southeastern corner and has terrific farmland. Chicot is a French word meaning “stumpy” and is thought to refer to sticking-up above-ground roots of cypress trees.
9. Bellwood, Ill. (tie)
Last year’s No. 2–the portion of this struggling Chicago suburb of 20,000 sitting in a business development–has fallen thanks to a 0.5% drop in the tax. Bellwood is the hometown of astronaut Eugene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon.
9. Lake Providence, La. (tie)
Louisiana’s second-highest sales tax is found in the state’s impoverished northeastern corner. Lake Providence is the birthplace of billionaire Sam Wyly–and William J. Jefferson, the convicted ex-Congressman caught with $90,000 of bribe money in his freezer.
9. Hallett and Fort Gibson, Oklahoma (tie)
Oklahoma’s highest sales tax is found in two places that sit 80 miles apart with Tulsa in between. Fort Gibson is the state’s oldest town, founded in 1824. With a population of 168, Hallett is one of the state’s smallest towns.
10. Springfield, Mo.
Buy something in one of four special tax districts adorning the “Queen City of the Ozarks,” and you get hit with Missouri’s highest sales tax. Look around, and the rate can fall to as low as 7.6%.
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