The average sales tax in the US for 2012 was reported to be 9.6 percent. While this might not seem like it is capable of making much difference, sales tax does add up: a $20,000 car, for instance, would incur nearly $2,000 on top of that price in sales tax alone. Little things can add up as well: a $50 grocery bill might only involve a few dollars in sales tax, but over time the tax on those grocery bills will inevitably amount to a big chunk of change.
Living Without Sales Tax
Ultimately, the only way to avoid sales tax is to move to a state where it does not exist. In the US there are just five: New Hampshire, Oregon, Alaska, Delaware, and Montana. While residents of these states might pay increased income or property taxes to make up the difference in their states’ revenues, these taxes won’t affect visitors. Thus, states without sales tax are ideal for tourists. Here are some of the great activities you could enjoy on a trip to one of these states.
Located in the New England region, New Hampshire is one of the oldest states in America. Tourists often visit this area in the fall, hoping to see the majestic tapestry that turning leaves create. During other times of the year, New Hampshire is ideal for history hounds. Some of the attractions include Robert Frost’s home, EE Cumming’s home, Daniel Webster’s family farmhouse, as well as homes of former politicians, Revolutionary War generals, and signers of the Declaration of Independence.
Nestled in the Pacific Northwest, Oregon has a little bit of everything: mountains, plains, wine country, and the great blue ocean. Tourists often flock to the coast during summer months (it may be too cold during other times), and flock to the mountains during ski season. Portland offers a vivid nightlife and museum scene, while Salem is very family friendly with parks, carousels, and the fairy-tale oriented amusement park The Enchanted Forest.
When it comes to the US, it’s hard to find a state more beautiful than Alaska. Well known for its flourishing wildlife, this state is ideal for the person who loves the outdoors. With hiking, fishing, rafting, and tours that take participants deep into the wilderness, Alaska allows one to experience things they might not ever experience again (such as watching dogsled racing). However, for those who go to Alaska to partake in the outdoors, summer is really the only time to go. During winter, it’s just too dark and too cold. At night, you may even catch a glimpse of the northern lights!
Like Alaska, Montana is also a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, with ample areas to camp, fish, bike, and hike. Montana is also well known for merging its natural beauty with history. Among the most popular tourist spots are the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, the Lewis and Clark trail, Glacier National Park, Gates of the Mountain boat tour, and Beartooth Highway. Many people visit Montana for horseback riding and the abundance of state parks (some that include badlands riddled with dinosaur fossils).
The first of the 13 colonies to ratify the US Constitution, Delaware may be tiny, but it packs a historical punch. One of the best ways to learn about the beginnings of America is to tour the Delaware History Trail, a tour that includes homes of famous residents and occurrences. Delaware isn’t all history, however, it is also known for its festivals. This state serves as home to variety of festivals, including paddle fests, wine fests, river fests, music fests, and Shakespeare festivals. Delaware is also famous for its beaches, some of the cleanest in the nation.