Under the Herman Cain 9-9-9 tax plan, a new federal sales tax
would be added on top of existing state and local sales taxes. That
means 9-9-9 could yield large sales taxes in some places.
Are you ready for some Herman Cain sales tax sticker shock?
If the Republican candidate's 9-9-9 tax plan - which would set up
a 9 percent federal sales tax, 9 percent federal payroll tax, and 9
percent federal business tax - were to go into effect, the new
federal sales tax would piggyback on top of state and local sales
taxes already in existence.
As a result, sales taxes around the nation would be considerably
higher than 9 percent.
The residents of Tennessee and Arizona would, on average, have to
pay more than 18 percent in combined state, local, and federal
taxes, using data from the Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan tax
research group in Washington.
At least 12 states would have average sales taxes over 17
percent. California, for example, would come in at a combined rate
of 17.13 percent.
And residents of four states - Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire,
and Oregon - would have to start paying a sales tax. Currently, they
It's a glimpse of of the potential nationwide effects of Mr.
Cain's 9-9-9 plan, which would result in a median national sales-
tax rate of 15.8 percent, according to the Tax Foundation data. To
compare sales taxes by state, the data average local sales taxes
across each state, since they can vary widely from one locality to
To the Cain campaign, these statistics miss the point. Since
personal taxes would drop significantly with only one, 9 percent tax
rate, individuals would have more disposable income to buy things
which would be more expensive, 9-9-9 backers say.
Here's one example: An individual who currently makes $174,000
would be in the 28 percent tax bracket. According to moneychimp.com,
that person - married but filing separately - would owe $42,337. But
under 9-9-9, the person's tax would be $15,660 - a savings of
"I understand his theory," says Michelle Ahlman, executive
director of the Arizona Retailers Association in Mesa.
But she worries about "sticker shock," when customers see how
much an item will be with the new sales tax. "People will balk at it
and either turn to buying online or not spend at all," she says.
How much more would some things cost?
In New York at the Lord & Taylor department store, a non-label
cashmere sweater was priced at $179. …