As of September 2015, the states that do not have a state sales tax are Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon. Of these states, only Alaska has a range of local sales tax rates, from 0 to 7.5 percent. The others do not have any local sales taxes, according to the Sales Tax Institute.
Some states allow non-standard sales tax rates to apply to many items, such as lodging, meals, telecommunications, and other specific services and items. Even though a state sales tax rate may be zero, customers may still pay a state tax for some things. For instance, although Delaware does not have a state sales tax, it does have a rental tax rate of 1.99 percent, states the Sales Tax Institute.
The state with the next lowest rate is Colorado, with a sales tax rate of 2.9 percent. There are seven states that follow with the next lowest sales tax rate of 4 percent: Alabama, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, New York, South Dakota and Wyoming, reports the Sales Tax Institute. California has the highest state sales tax rate in the U.S., at 7.5 percent. There are also some states with high state sales tax rates, but with local jurisdictions that do not have any sales taxes. New Jersey is an example of such a state, with a state sales tax rate of 7 percent and a local rate of zero.