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Do you know when your state adopted its sales tax?

I spent part of today shopping with my mom.

It wasn't her preferred shopping trip; that would be searching for shoes. And while my mother looks nothing like Imelda Marcos, she sure does share the former Filipino First Lady's love of footwear.

Shoe collection courtesy Shoepper Woman

My mom, for example, doesn't have a pair of black shoes. She has a pair of black shoes for every outfit that needs black shoes.

Today, however, was a run of the mill grocery shopping trip.

Mom's a very diligent grocery shopper, looking to save as much as possible at the local H-E-B. As the old saying goes, tweaked by mother, a penny saved on bread is a penny more for another pair of summer sandals.

So it really irks her when she has to put taxable items in her cart, such as over-the-counter medications, cosmetics and cleaning supplies.

Texas sales tax details: Relatively speaking, Texas' sales tax of 6.25 percent isn't that bad.

But in addition to the state levy, other governmental jurisdictions also get a chance to take a bite of our buying dollars. Texas shoppers also might pay sales taxes of

  • ¼ percent to 2 percent (.0025 - .02) to cities,
  • ½ percent to 1.5 percent (.005 - .015) to counties,
  • ¼ percent to 1 percent (.0025 - .01) to transit authorities, or
  • 1/8 percent to 2 percent (.00125 - .02), to special purpose districts.

This means Texans face a possible combined maximum sales tax rate of 8.25 percent.

Part of the reason my mom is so sales tax sensitive is that she remembers when she didn't have to pay it. The Lone Star State didn't adopt its sales tax in 1961.

Because of my personal connection, I'm awarding this week's By the Numbers honor to 1961.

State sales tax adoption dates: Texas is one of 11 states that put off sales tax collections until the 1960s. The others are Idaho, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Most states, 24, adopted sales taxes in the 1930s, with Mississippi leading the way as that decade began.

You can check the Tax Foundation's map to see when your state adopted its general sales tax unless, of course, you live in one of the five without such a levy.

They are Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon.

Alaska and Montana, however, do allow local jurisdictions to charge sales taxes.

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