PA Sales Tax Question

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by RobertInOntario, May 30, 2007.

  1. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    OK, this is train-related but I'm stretching it a bit!

    My family and I are planning to drive to Strasburg, Pennsylvania in July to visit the railroad attractions (and outlet malls, Amish attractions & amusement parks).

    I've heard conflicting info about PA's sales tax and, when I googled this topic this morning, I still confused.

    It seems that there is a 6% sales tax on hotels and things like electronic gadgets (and probably model RR stuff?) but NO sales tax on things like clothing as well as some other items. I hope to buy some railway books in PA as well -- is there sales tax on books?

    Is this true -- could anyone please clarify this?

    Thanks so much!

  2. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Easy One :) :) -- Since i live here :)

    If you "wear it" (anything you can imagine) including shoes, clothing, hats, ties socks, undershirts etc... There is no tax, since these are deemed necessities.

    There is a Statewide (see exceptions below) tax on "luxuries" and some food and anything else you would normally purchase... Books, Magazines, toys, souvenirs, train rides, museum admissions - Aww heck :) look at it this way.... If you can carry it, it's a 6% tax.....

    Now it gets complicated..... (Steeenking laws!!) The Taxes are included in the Displayed Prices of: Movie admissions, Museum Admissions, train rides, "FAST Food ONLY", and all other places where a price would be displayed on a board somewhere...

    Yes - I know you're waiting for...... gas prices - the price on the board DOES include tax.... 18% tax :( :( the prices you see are the prices you pay.....

    Now, if you go into a store, or a restaurant, the shelf prices (And menu Prices) do NOT include tax..... Here we go again..... BUT..... If it's deemed a necessity (Milk, Butter, some foods that need to be prepared) it's not taxed... No - I don't know either - I just guess that everything needs to be taxed and let the cashier figure it out :(

    Confused yet??? :D :D :D If you go into any metropolitan area.... Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia etc...... The 6% tax becomes 7% :(
  3. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Gee Mikey, that's almost too easy to figure out compared to here in Arizona. Taxes vary between municipalities and counties. Everyone has their own tax added to whatever it is you're buying. For example, have someone work on your car and the labor isn't taxed but the parts are. Food in most towns isn't taxed, but in some you will pay up to 2%. The most common rate for most stuff, when totaled up is around 8.0 to 8.3 %. Buy a chicken in a supermarket and it isn't taxed, buy one there that is already cooked and you pay the going tax rate for "take out" or restaurant food. Buy a new house and you pay sales tax on it, but the builder only gets charged a percentage of a percentage since they have some magic formula to determine how much is materials, how much is land and how much is labor.wall1

    There's different rates for hotels and car rentals an where you rent the car, at the airport or someplace else. Buy a new car and you're charged full sales tax, but if you have a trade-in, they subtract that from the cost of the car and charge you on the difference. Based on that, they should pay you back sales tax if you just sell a car, but they wouldn't do that...:confused:

    If you're buying something for resale, or to use it as a production machine, you don't pay any sales tax, providing you have the proper sales tax license... and they do check every business to make sure you are not only paying taxes on the things you should, but that you are charging taxes as you also should. I know.:mrgreen:

    Man, it would be so much simpler if the price you saw was the price you pay, not an additional 8.210439% :eek: (rounded out to 8.3%, naturally):rolleyes: :rolleyes: Pass a law that says sales taxes are included in the posted price.
  4. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Thanks, N Gauger! This sounds great and is helpful.
    We look forward to buying a lot of clothes then!

    We're much more taxed here in Ontario -- we have an 8% sales tax plus a 6% GST (Goods & Services Tax). Ours is also confusing in how they're applied, but it sounds like we will certainly save some dollars in PA, especially on clothing at the outlet malls!

    Thanks again! Rob
  5. Renovo PPR

    Renovo PPR Just a Farmer

    Add Johnstown to the 7% sales tax roll. And farmers are exempt on sales tax for most things related to farming.
  6. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Ontario taxes a single muffin because it's a meal out, but a apcket of 6 is groceries. Books were exempted (but not magazines!). Then the federal government taxed everything in sight (maybe not groceries).
    There is some sort of Conservative idea that the public should be surprised by sales tax, so the advertised price isn't supposed to include the tax.
    Until the last reduction, the total tax on a restaurant meal was 15%; the only good thing about this was it made calculating the tip easier. :wave:
  7. TomPM

    TomPM Another Fried Egg Fan


    You forgot that each county and in some cases municipality can impose a lodging tax on hotel rooms. So you pay the 6% state sales tax plus the local hotel tax which can run from 0.5% to 5%!

    As far as food goes if it is a baked good such as a cake or pie and you get it to go there is no tax, if you get to eat where you buy then you pay 6% sales tax.
  8. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Thanks Tom :)

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