Well, as European with high domestic taxes, you sometimes laugh about the state sales taxes they charge in the U.S.
Canada seems to be on the same road as the European states with their "value added taxes" they call GST and PST, General Sales Tax, Provincial Sales Tax, respectively.
What is most bothering for a European visitor to the United States or Canada, is this "plus tax thing" - a real nuisance, esp. in Canada when they add sometimes 14 percent of their GST/PST to the bill.
The State of Oregon is a neat exception to the rule - here, the big sour gherkin (pickle) cost you $1.19 final price. You pay what's on the label - that's it.
What works at the gas or diesel station with tax included prices, btw, all over the States and Canada, doesn't obviously work with other merchandise, first you see neat prices $15.99 - 24.99 etc pp., OK, in Canada, where they abolished the penny, it's Can-$15.95 or 24.95,
then, almost the heart attack at the check-out, instead of $24.99 you have to pay with 8.0 NY State sales tax 26.99, two dollars more, mmhh - in Canada even $28.45, Can-$4.50 more with 14 pc GST/PST.
In Oregon, the clocks are ticking normally in the view of a EU citizen who always sees final prices with tax included.
Why this out-moded b.s., really?
The tax can be factored in, and the companies have to recalibrate their prices;
with net prices they can offer you the neat $24.99 as net price and the tax comes on top.
Example: At Walmart's, the Rand McNally 2013 road atlas has a sticker price in Oregon of $6.97 - and I paid $6.97 not a penny more.
In Washington State, the "GST" rate there is 6.5 pc. Well, meaning this atlas cost you in Washington $7.42 - same sticker price but different brutto price.
Factoring in taxes is simple, what works with fuel at the pumps can work anywhere, right?
It's a matter of transparency. The customer has been protected by several regulations concerning price comparision per unit or per weight or volume, etc. pp., correct?
Why can't we get transparent final prices here in the U.S. - exception is Oregon.
You don't have to soften your scull with a baseball bat on a regular basis to understand this insanity of the respective tax-lawmakers, but it would surely help. Already being dizzy by murky add-on fees and other b.s., you don't really have to make this kind of calculator thing when going shopping.
Give you a general example of this nonsense of add-on taxes instead of complete prices.
Speed Limit 60 miles plus tax - sounds weird, huh? But everybody seems to apply this - instead of 60 mph - you often go 63 mph.
"We'll meet in 45 minutes plus tax", says the boss - what the hell means this?
But with the prices here, they put on the labels, it's like heaven-sent, meaning $24.99 plus tax.
Oh my - I needed three small cans of Millers Milwaukee's Best Ice beer with 5.9 APV, to get this article done, 30 cans did cost me $15.97 plus 1.50 OR deposit fee (that's ok) but not a single penny more.
Mmmhh, how can Walmart do this? Well, they factor in the tax. In Washington State, the tax will be added on the given price, right?
Who is better off?
Martha from Sweet Home, OR who pays $1.00 for a 2-liter bottle of no-name zero cal soda - or Mariah from Battle Ground, WA who pays for the same bottle $0.99+ tax?