This paper studies comprehensive national panel data of local option sales taxes at the monthly frequency. I calculate state-by-month population weighted averages of local sales tax rates. I document ten stylized facts concerning the time series patterns and spatial dynamics of local sales taxes. The paper then considers a tax system approach to tax competition where states compete on a variety of margins that are often ignored by the standard focus on tax rates. Using the state-by-month averages, I find a significant association between one state's tax system and its neighboring states' tax systems.
commodity taxation local public finance fiscal federalism spatial tax competition tax systems municipal autonomy