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South Carolina Consumer Tax Laws

Every state levies what are collectively called consumer taxes , including taxes on retail sales, tobacco, alcoholic beverages, and other transactions. Not all states collect sales tax but usually find other ways of generating revenue, such as personal income tax, professional licensing fees, or vehicle registration. Taxes on cigarettes, liquor, and other products that are have the potential for abuse or ill health are often taxed at a much higher rate and referred to as "sin" taxes. The federal government also collects taxes on gasoline and tobacco products.

South Carolina Consumer Taxes

The state of South Carolina collects taxes on cigarettes, gasoline, and liquor (including wine and beer) just like other states, but has one of the lowest gasoline tax rates in the nation. Gambling taxes are not collected in the state, however, since the practice is effectively banned. South Carolina's sales tax rate is 6 percent, but counties may add an additional tax of up to 1 percent if approved through a ballot initiative.

South Carolina's consumer tax rates are listed in the following table. See FindLaw's Tax Law section to learn more.

Sales Tax 6% §§12-36-910 (counties may impose an additional 1% sales tax if approved by voters)
Cigarette Tax 57¢ per pack of 20 cigarettes §12-21-620
Gasoline Tax per Gallon 16.8¢ per gallon §§12-28-310 (not including 18.4¢ federal excise tax)
Use Tax 6% §§12-36-1310
Liquor Tax Beer 77¢ per gallon; Wine <21% 90¢ /gal.; Spirits $2.72 per gallon; Wholesalers are subject to additional tax; Additional excise tax on sale of wine §§12-21-1020, 1040, 1310; 12-33-230, 240, 410, 425, 460
Gambling Tax NA

Note: State laws are always subject to change, particularly those affecting taxes and tax rates. Be sure to contact a South Carolina tax attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

How are Consumer Taxes Used?

State governments cannot operate without taxes, which pay for a number of public goods and services most people use every day. Sales tax and revenue streams usually go into the state's general fund for infrastructure projects, the hiring of police and fire fighters, schools, and countless other necessities. The state's comptroller general provides tax expenditure reports for public review.

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Related Resources for Consumer Tax Laws

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