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SALES TAX RATES CONTINUE TO RISE; 60 U.S. CITIES ADD NEW TAXES THIS YEAR

 BERWYN, Pa., July 21 /PRNewswire/ -- The average sales tax rates at the state, county and city level continue to rise above record levels set in 1992, according to statistics released today by Vertex Inc., a Berwyn-based tax software and research firm.
 In 1992, the average combined (state/county/city) sales tax rate for all 45 states and local jurisdictions that charge a sales tax rose above 8 percent (8.007 percent) for the first time ever. This trend continues after the first six months of '93 with the average combined sales tax rate having increased to 8.058 percent.
 The key reason for this increase over the past six months is activity at the city and county level. There have been 109 rate changes and 60 new sales taxes added at the city level so far in 1993. The average city-level rate rose from 1.561 percent at the end of '92 to a current average rate of 1.598 percent.
 The county level also has experienced considerable activity with 81 rate changes and 16 new sales taxes being added during the past six months. The average county-level tax rate for all 45 states is now at an all-time high of 1.392 percent.
 "The trend we began to notice in '92 is continuing today," said Jon Riewe, vice president of research for Vertex Inc. "Our nation's cities are becoming more independent and aggressive in raising revenues by adding new sales taxes or increasing their existing sales tax."
 In '92, there were 150 cities which added a sales tax. In addition, there were 351 sales tax rate changes at the city level, which represents a 50 percent increase over '91 figures, according to Vertex statistics.
 Other significant six-month sales tax findings by Vertex include:
 -- A total of 271 U.S. jurisdictions either changed existing or added new sales taxes so far in '93.
 -- There have been no new taxes or rate changes at the state level since January. In 1992, nine states changed their state sales and use tax rates.
 -- Wyoming had the highest increase in combined average sales taxes this year, increasing from 5 percent to 6 percent. Vermont's decreased from 5 percent to 4 percent.
 Vertex Inc. is the nation's leading supplier of state and local automated tax compliance systems for sales, property, payroll, and telecommunications taxation. Based in Berwyn, Vertex has regional offices in Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas and San Mateo, Calif.
 /delval/
 -0- 7/21/93
 /CONTACT: Alex Smith of Vertex, 215-640-4200/


CO: Vertex ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU: ECO

MK-MP -- PH014 -- 3838 07/21/93 10:04 EDT
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Date:Jul 21, 1993
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