Chicago leads largest cities in sales tax

By Mary Ellen Podmolik
Posted Aug. 9, 2010 at 4:58 p.m.

It’s another dubious honor for Chicago.

Just as Illinois touts its first sales-tax holiday, a new report highlights Chicago as having among the highest retail sales tax rates of the nation’s largest cities. At 9.75 percent once county, mass transit and city taxes are added to the statewide 6.25 percent sales tax, Chicago’s tax rate  is equal to that of Los Angeles.

In its annual survey, information services company CCH Inc. said consumer taxes for retail items, gas and cigarettes continued to climb in many states.

The company found that five states — California, Kentucky, Minnesota, Nebraska and North Dakota — raised their tax on gasoline and another five — Arizona, Kansas, Massachusetts, New Mexico and North Carolina — boosted their sales tax.

Ten states and the District of Columbia increased the tax on cigarettes. The D.C. and North Carolina were the only two areas to increase all three forms of taxation.

Meanwhile, Florida was the only state that reported a tax reduction, and it was a small one. The state lowered its gas tax to 16 cents, from 16.1 cents.

In announcing its report Monday, CCH said Los Angeles’ sales tax rate was 9.5 percent, but the California State Board of Equalization put it at 9.75 percent.

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  1. Harlon Katz Aug. 9, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    Karen – The problem with your idea about a “fair” tax is that it leaves moochers paying NO tax. Your argument also fails to take into account all the handouts people on the low end get. $600/month for food stamps for a family of 4 was quoted in the Trib earlier this week – we don’t spend that much for a family of 6, but then again we pay our own way and have other expenses as well. If we got rid of all the give backs (ie: refunds for more than someone pays in taxes) and lowered support to a more reasonable level for food stamps, etc., maybe your “fairness” argument would hold water.

  2. james andrews Aug. 9, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    Now you know why all the jobs are growing in Texas and other low tax states while Illinois suffers.

  3. spirit Aug. 9, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    pjl wrote
    “We should pay on consumption – and not on income”

    This is what is wrong with USA currently .Rich get away with no taxes and poor people that can’t afford it pay for it.That is the current war in usa rich vs poor.Rich are ignorant the poor can’t do anything to change it .I want you to make budget on person that makes 30k per year vs 5mil per year.Look at it very close.And tell me how the poor can pay 20% of its income for health care ?And how can taht be normal for you?And then start write about who shold be paying more taxes.

  4. twhite Aug. 9, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    keep moving people, nothing to see here ;)

  5. Duh Aug. 9, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    No city income tax and low state income tax compared to other big cities. Case closed.

  6. Denny Crane Aug. 9, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    That’s because we’re number one in CORRUPTION and need the money too pay for Daley’s family & friends.

  7. James P. Aug. 9, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    Show me a city with massive unemployment and out of control taxes and spending, and I will show you a city which has been under Democrat rule for over 10 years.

  8. Motchil Aug. 9, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    This is the result of Chicago politics, and we’re going to re-elect the cause!

  9. kohlerdavidb Aug. 9, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    I Grew up in Chicago, from the mid 50s to the mids 80s, I love the place, the food and the people. I would never go back, regardless of how bad the food is in other cities. Mayor Daley is just like his father,as long as you continue to elect people like this, you must live with youre choices!

  10. NANCY Aug. 9, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    I read that the mexican population grew by 40% since the last census – can you imagine how many kids they must be having in our lovely sanctuary city. This is just the beginning of crazy sales taxes to pay for all the freebies – i’m going to have to consider making a move.

  11. marz Aug. 10, 2010 at 3:04 a.m.

    I live in this city due to employment and at my age it is too late to leave before I retire. I will never buy a thing in chitcago and if it costs more than $50… I buy in Indiana.

  12. Dave Aug. 10, 2010 at 4:32 a.m.

    Amber there is NO Hopium, Just facts. And to whoever said “That article was 2007-2008″ you better look it up again it was from 08-09, the latets it could actually be. Even if it was from 07-08 thats ONLY 1 year difference. You honestly think we went from the top 10 TAX FRIENDLY CITIES to the worst in 1 year LMAO! C`Mon, i was presenting facts and all i get back was the usual BS from Fellow Repubs that hate Daley. Daley Is certainly not perfect by My defenition of a Pol but name 1 that is???
    The guy loves this city and his father loved this city and they have done wonders for it. 45 Million people come here every year. Do you people understand what kind of cash they drop here?? You blame him for beautifying thwe streets and planting trees etc but that makes it much nicer for the people that live here and the millions that visit. We just had 250,000 people for a Music fest visit. The air show?? Millions. $th of july? Million or more and on and on.

    Nope, no Hopium, Omly a great City! Spoken from someone who has lived for atleast 3 years in places like NYC,LA,Tampa,Houston,Philly etc. Ofcourse that was for my job but i QUIT that 6 figure job 8 years ago to move back home! So Glad i did.

    You sheeple read a few articles and listen to your 1 crabby neighbor on your block and get all worked up about nothing. It`s hilarious.

    PS- I am suprised that so many REAL feelow Chicagoans have showed up on this site to stick up for this Great city!!! It`s usually just the Daley haters that Come to the papers and rip everything he does, Good or bad.

  13. Dave Aug. 10, 2010 at 4:38 a.m.

    cls1212, Seattle is a dump! My wife and her entire family are from there. When my wife and i got married they stayed in seattle and eventually 1 by 1 moved out here. They have 15-18 year old punks in the middle of downtown during the daylight beating on old people, using guns and knives against people and thats in the “NICE” areas. Thats a true story. It was a very nice place years ago i guess. they all loved it there. They have said the bigger it gets they cant control it. There are still beautiful parts of it ofcourse but they dotn know how to control the young punks and they are not in just a few BAD areas like here, they are everywhere all the time.

    Like when Taste of Chicago comes here and there is a couple bad incidents, the 11 people that now live here from Seattle laughed. they could not believe the papers made such a big deal about it. It happens so rarely here in most areas. The Few Hoods like Englewood,Austin etc? Well… thats a different story all together but how many of us go there to get a burger or se a concert?

  14. Amber M Aug. 10, 2010 at 5:56 a.m.

    OK Dave. You convinced me. When you bring up the wonderful job Daley and Daddy did. The efficiency here. The ethics here. How much they love the city. Sort of remends me of the love Saddam and Adolph had for their cities as well.

    After all, its not about how to efficiently run a city. Its how many flower boxes at $500 a box you can plant.

    I get it. We are honestly the cheapest city in the world.

    Thanks for straightening all this out.

  15. Amber M Aug. 10, 2010 at 6:52 a.m.

    Oh.. on the part of the **** Daley and his great “skills.” I could sell the parking meters on a 75 yr lease and spend all the money in 3 yrs. I could sell the Skyway on a 75 yr lease and spend all the money in 5 or 6 yrs. I could run half-billion dollar deficits year after year.

    Truly. It’s not that hard…. :)

    And knocking the Repubs? Remember we’ve in this mess cuz of the combined brain-trust of Blago/Stroger/Daley. So I’m not sure I’d want to say the Dems will save the day. Just my opinion.

  16. independentvoter Aug. 10, 2010 at 7:07 a.m.

    I was born and raised in Chicago left 6 years ago.. still have relatives who live in the city.. if you figure out what high amounts you pay in Taxes and add them to the increased Fees to pay for those who PAY NOTHING it comes to a HUGE amount.. and STILL Chicago can’t make ends meet.. schools are over crowded with kids who speak little or NO English and the kids who do speak English are held back because of this while teachers try to teach children of NON CITIZENS to speak the language of the country their parents came into illegally at the bottom and Politicians stealing all they can at the top and they play a game of Monkey in the middle which is the working, legal taxpayers..other cities much smaller around Chicago have far less in sales taxes and manage but then they don’t have 50 alderman making as much as U.S. Senators either..

  17. Aug. 10, 2010 at 7:12 a.m.

    chicago is the new detroit. this place will be a ghost town in 3 years with 15% unemployment.

    this is what happens when politicians coddle unions in hopes of campaign contributions and when politicians drive business away with high taxes and labor costs. (mccormick place).

    congratulations, King ****!

  18. tvanveld Aug. 10, 2010 at 7:30 a.m.

    Liberal people are stupid, period.

  19. DBX Aug. 10, 2010 at 7:46 a.m.

    We have the lowest state income tax of any of the 41 states with an income tax. And, as long as you live in a city that at least has some retailing and therefore some sales tax revenue, property taxes aren’t too bad. The problem in Illinois is that a city or town that has a regional shopping mall can coast on the sales tax dollars from that and cut the property taxes almost to zero, while a city or town that’s mostly residential has to have huge property taxes for the schools. That’s where we have a problem — not with taxes being “high” overall, because they’re not. There’s also a problem with local governments handing out TIF districts like candy to developers, because then the schools are forced to raise their property taxes — that’s the main problem in Chicago itself.

  20. Julie Aug. 10, 2010 at 7:57 a.m.

    Chicagoans should consider themselves lucky that they have such a low state income tax rate and NO city income tax. I moved from Chicago to Philadelphia, where the city income tax is over 4%. That is in addition to the PA state income tax and an 8% sales tax in the city. I would much rather pay on what I buy because I can control that. I can either buy less or buy outside of the city if I really don’t want to pay the taxes.

  21. Jimbo Aug. 10, 2010 at 8:17 a.m.

    The only way Crook County will get the hint to address this issue is for everyone to do all they can to shop in Lake, Mc Henry, Du Page, Will, and Kankakee Counties. DON’T SHOP IN CROOK COUNTY!!!

  22. Jim Aug. 10, 2010 at 9:00 a.m.

    Ya and the parking meter issues provide another top award!

  23. klicker0323 Aug. 10, 2010 at 10:02 a.m.

    Dave – You are one of the people that turn their head the other way not caring what corrupt people do, as long as you feel safe and sound in your little city. Just like the mob. They take care of the people in the neighborhood with one hand, while they rob, cheat and steel with the other. Just wait my friend, they’re dipping in your pocket book because the corruption only lasts so long. Wake the he!! up!

  24. James Aug. 10, 2010 at 10:02 a.m.

    You people do realize that Chicago has no city income tax like most other major cities, right?

  25. Bob Aug. 10, 2010 at 10:06 a.m.

    The sales tax in Birmingham, AL is 10%.

  26. Innocent_III Aug. 10, 2010 at 11:08 a.m.

    “We have the lowest state income tax of any of the 41 states with an income tax.”

    Not for long– just wait until the November election’s over!

  27. John in Glenview Aug. 10, 2010 at 11:13 a.m.

    And why are lower taxes in Texas so good? …

    “In January, the Texas Education Agency urged state education agencies to cut their budgets by 5 percent to offset the $4.3 billion budget gap in the current fiscal year.”

  28. Andy in LA Aug. 10, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    As a transplanted Chicagoan, most definitely paying .0975 sales tax in the city of LA, my questions are not about the substance of the article, but why the Trib is using data from a company — CCH? CHH? whatever it is — that is obviously not a great resource since it got the simplest of figures — the sales tax in the city of LA — completely wrong, and, altho you corrected it in the last sentence, your editor headlines the article based on that same bad information: Chicago’s sales tax does NOT lead the largest cities, it’s tied with LA.

    Wanna know why your paper is in the trouble it is? Crap journalism like this. This ain’t Chitown in the 20s!

    Thank God I can turn to our own LA Times for uncorrupted data and correct headlines.

    Wait a minute…don’t you own us, too? Woe is me!

  29. notleftbehind Aug. 10, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    DBX property taxes aren’t too high?!!! Are you kidding? Have you looked at the changes coming down the road to property owners in Chicago?
    Too, it will only be a matter of time before the IL state income tax increases. You can’t support the services in the State without it. So many unemployed in the State means less income tax being collected.

  30. Basher 5-2 Aug. 10, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    “That is the current war in usa rich vs poor.” Actually, that is the type of vapid class warfare bilge the MarchON! dot org types enjoy pushing. War? One does not see “rich” driving Ranges Rovers down Wabash gunning down street people. “Rich are ignorant ..” are they now? In fact, nearly every one has what they might by earning it by applying talent, discipline and deferred gratification. They work painfully hard, at long hours. “Rich get away with no taxes …” NO taxes, do tell? What planet do you live on? In fact, less than 10% of the poplulation pays more than 70% of the tax burden. In gross numbers, it is far more “poor people” that pay ZERO but collect quite a bit. Contrary to the ideology of many “activists” and political enablers, it may come as a shock that the “rich” do not owe you anything. You are however welcome to mow some lawns or shovel some snow to earn a few bucks instead of coveting other peoples income. Or get hired by that New Economy growth industry, government ‘work’.

  31. SP Aug. 10, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    That’s what happens when liberal sanctuary cities try to feed and artificially support an underclass of people, including illegals, lazy welfare recipients who don’t want to work, people who can’t read or write ever, as well as wide spread problems of corruption in the Chicago machine. Put it all together and you get the hightest tax rate in the country and hundreds of millions in budget deficits. Stop the free handouts to illegals and liberal socialists and stop the corruption!!!