My Ride, My Roads Sales Tax Comparison

I’m still weighing my decision on whether to vote for the My Ride, My Roads sales tax referendum coming up on Tuesday. I don’t like increasing taxes, but I do like local control and efficient organizations. Tom Phillips and Polk Transit qualify under both of those criteria, so I’m torn.

My leaning right now is to vote for the initiative, and I’m still doing some research just to make sure I’m not missing anything. One of the things I was curious about was how exactly does an 8 percent sales tax (what our new rate would be) compare to other areas. The opposition has harped on the fact that it would be the highest in the state, yet we’d be tied with Pinellas County if a similar referendum passes there. I was also sure other areas of the country would be higher (and lower), and started looking for a sampling.

So, here is that sampling. I included many cities from Forbes’ ranking of the top cities for young professionals, as well as others that I feel are somewhat similar to Lakeland or have elements that we might aspire to have. I’m too busy to draw out lots of implications one way or the other right now, but a couple of things to note:

  • The following states have no income tax: Florida, Alaska, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas,  Washington, Wyoming, New Hampshire, Tennessee. (note – New Hampshire only charges property taxes)
  • The base sales tax rate for the entire state of Florida is 6 percent, so no city in the state can be below that number.
City State Sales Tax Rate
Kirkland WA 9.50%
Nashville TN 9.25%
Chattanooga TN 9.25%
Knoxville TN 9.25%
Charleston SC 8.50%
Oklahoma City OK 8.38%
San Antonio TX 8.25%
Houston TX 8.25%
Austin TX 8.25%
Atlanta GA 8.00%
Columbia MO 7.98%
Reno NV 7.73%
Pensacola FL 7.50%
Charlotte NC 7.25%
Columbus OH 7.00%
Tampa FL 7.00%
Jacksonville FL 7.00%
Omaha NE 7.00%
Raleigh NC 6.75%
Orlando FL 6.50%
Port St. Lucie FL 6.50%
Gainesville FL 6.00%
Naples FL 6.00%
Des Moines IA 6.00%
Madison WI 5.00%
Manchester NH 0.00%

The tax rates were gathered from this site:

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4 Responses to My Ride, My Roads Sales Tax Comparison

  1. Tom says:

    Tom Phillips: Please feel free to contact me with any questions or data needs.

  2. John says:

    Brandt, why don’t you compare the tax increase to the Biblical Commandment “Thou shalt not steal”? Involuntary taxation certainly falls under the category of “taking someone’s property without their consent” (the definition of “theft”). And before you quote Romans 13 or “Render to Caesar”, I would like to ask: Is The State exempt from the 10 Commandments? If so, why?

    • Tom says:

      “Involuntary Taxation?” My Ride & My Roads is on the ballot for the voters to decide.

      • John says:

        If this abomination passes, a small percentage of people will have forced a tax increase on everyone else, including those who vote against it. Involuntary, indeed – just like every other tax in existence.

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