FINANCE

Top five states with highest combined state and local sales taxes

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — California and Indiana have the highest statewide sales taxes in the country, but Tennessee and Arizona take top billing when local sales taxes are added to the calculation, according to a new analysis by the Tax Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank that monitors fiscal policy at the federal, state and local levels.

“Retail sales taxes are one of the more transparent ways to collect tax revenue, as statewide sales tax rates are generally well-understood by taxpayers,” said Tax Foundation economist Scott Drenkard. “The local sales taxes collected in thousands of jurisdictions in 37 states, however, often are not. These rates can be substantial, so a state with a moderate statewide sales tax rate can end up with a very high combined state and local rate.”

The research group found that the states with the highest combined state-local rates are Tennessee (9.43%), Arizona (9.12%), Louisiana (8.86%), Washington (8.83%), and Oklahoma (8.68%).

Hawaii, Maine, Virginia, Wyoming, and Wisconsin have the lowest combined state and local rates. Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon do not levy sales taxes.

The states with the lowest non-zero combined rates are Alaska (1.79%), Hawaii (4.35%), Maine (5.00%), Virginia (5.00%), and Wyoming (5.18%).

California, despite a 1% reduction in its sales tax rate that took effect July 1, 2011, still has the highest state-level rate at 7.25%. Five states tie for the second-highest statewide rate with 7% each: Indiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Tennessee.

The five states with the highest average local sales tax rates are Louisiana (4.86%), Colorado (4.52%), New York (4.48%), Alabama (4.37%), and Oklahoma (4.18%).

Mississippi still claims the lowest non-zero average local rate of 0.004% attributable to the state’s only local sales tax: a 0.25% sales tax in Tupelo, the birthplace of Elvis Presley.

Top Five: States with highest combined state-local sales tax rates:

  1. Tennessee…9.43%
  2. Arizona…9.12%
  3. Louisiana…8.86%
  4. Washington…8.83%
  5. Oklahoma….8.63%

* Source: The Tax Foundation

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OPERATIONS

Report: Casual Male store nameplate to disappear over time

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Casual Male is shifting its focus to its Destination XL (DXL) format. By the end of 2015, the company expects to have closed all 400 Casual Male stores and have 225 to 250 DXL units, according to Women’s Wear Daily.

The DXL stores feature a wide array of merchandise, including both private label and name brands, and price points that range from the lower-end to the more upscale. By the end of 2012, the company expects to have 51 DXL stores in operation, the report said.

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May-06-2013 07:31 am

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May-06-2013 07:31 am

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FINANCE

Collective Brands shareholders approve sale of company

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Topeka, Kan. — Collective Brands stockholders voted at a special meeting on Tuesday to approve the sale of the company for about $1.32 billion.

Collective, which owns the Payless and Stride Rite shoe store banners, had announced in May that it accepted a purchase offer from a group that includes Wolverine Worldwide Inc., Blum Capital Partners and Golden Gate Capital.

The transaction will split Payless and Collective’s brand development and licensing arm into separate companies. Wolverine, which owns Hush Puppy, will acquire the Performance + Lifestyle Group, which includes Sperry Top-Sider, Saucony, Stride Rite and Keds.

Blum Capital and Golden Gate will jointly acquire Payless and Collective Licensing International.

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