Tax Foundation - tax rates

Louisiana's average sale tax remains higher than any other state in the country.

The nonpartisan Tax Foundation released its analysis this week that found Louisiana's combined state and local sales tax rate is, on average, slightly more than 10 percent.

While the state's 5-cent sales tax ranks 33rd in the country, the highest-in-the-nation average 5.02-cent local tax boosts Louisiana to the top combined spot.

Louisiana is followed by Tennessee (9.45 percent), Arkansas (9.34 percent), Washington (9.20 percent) and Alabama (9.03 percent) as having the highest average combined sales tax rates.

The five states with the lowest are Alaska (1.76 percent), Hawaii (4.35 percent), Wyoming (5.26 percent), Wisconsin (5.42 percent) and Maine (5.5 percent).

No states changed their statewide sales tax rates since January, the Tax Foundation's review found. Five states don't charge statewide sales taxes: Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon.

Lawmakers used a temporary state sales tax hike last year to balance the state's budget. It expires in June 2018.

The state Legislature is expected to meet in a special session before the 2018 regular session begins in March to try to shore up the $1 billion-plus shortfall anticipated when the sales tax expires.

So far, lawmakers haven't reached an agreement on changes that they may want to make in the state's tax structure. Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, has said he won't call a special session without consensus on a plan.

"Having the highest sales tax in the nation isn’t a badge of honor, it’s a burden on the people of Louisiana," Edwards spokesman Richard Cabo said.

Carbo said that Edwards will work with lawmakers in the coming months to chart the next steps after a package he proposed didn't gain traction in the Capitol this year.

Several legislative leaders have also floated the idea of keeping part of the state sales tax increase but not the entire 5 pennies.

Follow Elizabeth Crisp on Twitter, @elizabethcrisp.