Sales Taxes

To view our full report, including county-by-county rankings and detailed explanations of all sales tax rates in Utah, click here.

The sales tax is one of the most easily understood yet often forgotten taxes. A simple percentage of the price of goods and services is a concept every taxpayer can understand, but almost always ignores when making a purchase. We all intuitively know that the final price we pay for something will be slightly higher than the sticker price. But did you know there are many different sales tax rates? Do you know how many of these different rates go into the final tax you pay and which rates apply to which purchases?

As a Utahn, you are potentially subject to 28 different sales taxes. Fortunately, not all of these sales taxes apply at once on a siScreen Shot 2015-06-22 at 11.36.47 AMngle transaction. However, most of your day-to-day transactions include as many as six different sales taxes.

All sales transactions in Utah are taxed at a minimum of 5.95%, but depending on where you live and what you’re buying, the rate may climb as high as 16.35%! Some of these sales taxes require voter approval before implementation, but others can be imposed by city or county councils or are statutorily mandated by the legislature.

The sales tax was first introduced in Utah in 1933. Today, the sales and use tax is by far the largest source of revenue to the General Fund, generating $1.66 billion in unrestricted funds in FY 2014 plus an additional $452 million earmarked for specific projects in natural resource protection, water, wastewater, transportation and other government services.

As a general tax, sales tax revenues are best used for general government purposes. At the state level, sales taxes primarily fund social services, executive offices, the criminal justice system, infrastructure, general government and higher education.

At the local level, sales taxes are allocated to governments according to 50% population and 50% point of sale, meaning where the transaction occurred. As at the state level, local sales taxes are to be used for general government operations and purposes.

To view our full report, including county-by-county rankings and detailed explanations of all sales tax rates in Utah, click here.

To view the precise sales tax rate you pay (specific to where you live or shop), use the State Tax Commission’s Sales Tax Rate Lookup tool here.

Tax Resources