9/11/2013 10:07:00 AM Small town, big tax: Tuba City
again pays nation's highest sales tax Combination of state , county and To'Nanees' Dizi chapter tax lead to 12.725 percent sales tax
Tuba City’s sales tax of more than 12 percent — a combination of state, county and local taxes — is once again the highest in the nation, according to a new report. Photo/Fatty Tuna via flickr/Creative Commons
Brandon Brown Cronkite News
Tuba City residents continue to pay the highest combined sales taxes in the nation, even after the Arizona state sales tax dropped this year, according to a new report.
The Tax Foundation's report said Tuba City's nation-leading tax of 12.725 percent is comprised of a 5.6 percent state tax, 1.125 percent Coconino County tax and a 6 percent tax levied by the To'Nanees'Dizi chapter of the Navajo Nation.
It's at least the third year on top for the northern Arizona town, but Leo Lee, a manager at the Tuba City Trading Post, said Aug. 29 that he doesn't hear complaints from his customers. It helps, he said, that they know that much of the money goes back to help the tribal government.
Tribal officials did not return calls seeking comment on the tax rate Aug. 29.
A handful of other rural Arizona towns come close to Tuba City's tax rate, according to numbers compiled by the Arizona Tax Research Association. It said that the combined sales tax in Coconino County's Fredonia was 10.725 in July, while Yavapai County's Chino Valley levied 10.35 percent in sales taxes that month and Guadalupe in Maricopa County collected 10.3 percent.
Kevin McCarthy, president of the tax research association, said that small rural towns sometimes raise sales tax as a way to bring in revenue, and most residents do not have the option to travel somewhere else to shop.
Tuba City held on to the top spot even though Arizona slipped from second-highest combined sales tax last year to ninth place in the Tax Foundation report released Aug. 28, as the state's sales tax rate dropped by a penny.
The state temporarily raised the sales tax rate from 5.6 percent to 6.6 percent in 2010 to help cope with recession-driven budget cuts.
Posted: Friday, September 13, 2013
Article comment by:
Shocking, but completely believable.
The promising concept of Chapter Townsites has turned out to be simply another opportunity to squeeze money from the hands of those least able to afford it. Within Arizona, taxing groceries ONLY occurs in Navajo townships, and 51 states have lower taxes than Arizona. Where does all that money go? Wo'olya. The hospital, medical services, police, roads, and schools are all paid for by others.