Finance -
How Does the State Utilize Sales Taxes?
Art Gib
Cash Back Realty ( offers a discount on real estate closing costs. This is done through their commission rebate program, saving clients hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Art Gib is a freelance writer. 
By Art Gib
Published on 10/16/2008
Most people across the country have to pay something they really don't enjoy paying and that is sales tax. But why do we pay it, and what happens to that money?

Most people across the country have to pay something they really don't enjoy paying and that is sales tax.

There are many items that are taxed such as personal care items, food, vehicle and home purchases, vacations and general merchandise.

Sales taxes vary state by state and many residents who live on the border of certain states travel the distance in order to be able to obtain items at a lesser sales tax than they would in their own state.

Sales taxes are formulated by the government but the state has to approve control as to how and what will be taxed. From time to time, laws pass through congress in which to be able to change the amount of sales tax per state in order to regulate budgets or help remedy certain debts that the state has accrued.

Sales taxes have also been used to help pay for certain things that are regulated by the state and help to provide additional funds to meet financial goals and help pay back debt to other organizations. Some of the organizations that utilize sales taxes to stay running and funding are:

Public schools -- Schools that are run by the state meaning they have publicly funded food programs, educational programs as well as public busing rely heavily off of state sales taxes in order to fund a portion of their schooling.

Casinos -- Casinos also utilize funds from sales taxes within the state to keep their facilities up and running. Some casinos are solely supported off of sales tax revenue and use it to create more jobs within the community.

Road commission -- The road commission works hard at keeping our roads safe and clear during inclement weather as well during days when the roads are clear. The state funds the heavy equipment road trucks and salt trucks to be able to go out and keep up with routine maintenance on roads and sidewalks. Keeping the roads free of potholes and maintaining bridges and keeping up with routine maintenance in some parks also fall under the category of what some state sales taxes actually pay for.

Lottery -- For the states that offer lottery services, many sections of the tax structure pay for portions of the lottery. Although thousands of people pay into the lottery each day and most of it goes to the government and is government controlled, there is also a small portion of what tax payers pay in sales tax that goes back into the revenue of the lottery system also.

Sales taxes helps keep consumer costs low and balances out what everyone fairly has to pay for sales taxes across the board.