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Taxes I Can't Complain About


Texas has a very high sales tax at 6.25 percent, and Austin adds on 2 percentage points. I’ve always thought we were high in this category.
Before our current vacation in Colorado, I was pleased to notice that its sales tax rate is only 2.9 percent. On my first purchase in Steamboat Springs, though, the tax rate was 8.4 percent — the town adds 5.5 percentage points to the state rate. Annoying to me, but sensible, and probably efficient and equitable. After all, much of the purchasing is by tourists like me, and our demand for goods here is probably quite inelastic, so the excess burden of the tax is small.
Also, this is a pretty fancy tourist destination, so the tax is probably somewhat progressive overall. Finally, as my wife notes, without such a tax we wouldn’t be paying for the public services that the town provides us. So I guess I can’t complain.