For companies struggling to climb out of the economic downturn, here's another problem: U.S. sales taxes. According to a recent survey, average sales-tax rates reached record highs during 1992 at the state, county, and city levels. If you're keeping your eye on the bottom line, you'll have to shop around for locales with the lowest sales-tax rates, raise your own prices, or reduce operational expenses to compensate for rising supply costs.

* * *

Average rates (%)
Year City County State
1981 1.26 1.15 4.10

1982 1.29 1.16 4.26

1983 1.30 1.22 4.49

1984 1.33 1.22 4.55

1985 1.34 1.25 4.55

1986 1.36 1.33 4.69

1987 1.39 1.30 4.76

1988 1.40 1.32 4.78

1989 1.50 1.34 4.85

1990 1.53 1.34 4.95

1991 1.54 1.30 5.02

1992 1.58 1.37 5.07

* * *

Source: Vertex, Berwyn, Pa., June 1992.