Louisiana no longer has the nation's highest average sales tax rate — just barely losing that distinction to Tennessee.
A new analysis released Monday from the Tax Foundation, a conservative Washington, D.C.-based think tank, has found Louisiana's average combined state and local sales tax rate is 9.45 percent, which puts it slightly below Tennessee's 9.46 percent.
For the past two years, Louisiana's had the highest average at 10.02 percent, after the Louisiana Legislature passed a temporary one-cent sales tax hike in 2016 to shore up the state budget.
The state sales tax rate was scheduled to fall from 5 percent to 4 percent on July 1, but the Legislature again agreed to a temporary extension of part of the sales tax hike during a special session in June. The new state sales tax rate is 4.45 percent.
Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, has said that he doesn't believe that Louisiana's sales tax is as regressive as some other states because the state doesn't charge sales tax on groceries, residential utilities or prescription drugs.
The Tax Foundation's analysis doesn't factor for those exemptions.
Other states with the highest sales tax rates, according to the Tax Foundation's report, include Arkansas (9.42 percent), Washington (9.19 percent) and Alabama (9.15 percent). The states with the lowest are Alaska (1.43 percent), Hawaii (4.35 percent), Wyoming (5.39 percent), Wisconsin (5.44 percent) and Maine (5.50 percent).
Check back with The Advocate for updates.