This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
The Utah Taxpayers Association recently released a primer on the sales tax that contains some interesting facts about what the organization calls the "most forgotten" tax.
The fact sheet comes out as Congress continues to debate allowing states to tax online purchases and Utah counties consider whether to put a transportation sales tax hike on November's ballot.
• The average Utahn pays about $720 annually in sales taxes.
• Sales taxes brought in more than $2 billion last year, and is by far the largest source of revenue for general government operations.
• The town of Alta has the state's highest combined sales tax rate, 8.35 percent.
• The lowest possible combined countywide sales tax rate in Utah is 5.95 percent, which is imposed in the majority of rural counties.
• Daggett, Garfield and Kane county have the highest countywide sales tax rate among the state's 29 counties, at 6.95 percent.
• Salt Lake County, the most populous, has a countywide rate of 6.85 percent.
• Piute is the only county that doesn't impose a so-called "sandwich tax" of 1 percent on prepared foods.
• Sales tax on groceries (unprepared food) is about half the rate imposed on other retail goods: 3 percent.
• Utah has a long list of sales tax exemptions, among them airline food and alcohol, prescription drugs, college textbooks, car washes, gold ingots and food stamp purchases.
• State law requires that a Utah resident report untaxed online purchases so the state can collect the revenue. No one does it.