A Guide to Pennsylvania State and Local Taxes

What You Need to Know About Income, Sales, Property and Estate Taxes

Taxes in Pennsylvania are levied on a variety of items, including income, property and retail sales items. Overall, Pennsylvania's state and local tax burden is 9.8%, according to numbers crunched by the nonprofit Tax Foundation. This ranks Pennsylvania at #36, in the bottom third of all states. Pennsylvania's state income tax is fairly low at a flat rate of 3.07 percent, and retirement income isn't taxed - which is a nice break for seniors.

Property taxes can be high in some areas, however, and taxes levied on gasoline and cigarettes are among the highest in the nation. Below is a comprehensive breakdown of the types of taxes and tax rate collected throughout the state. For more in depth information about taxes in Pennsylvania, visit the Pennsylvania Income Tax Specifics website.

Income Tax

Pennsylvania has a flat tax rate of 3.07 percent on individual income tax, with no standard deductions or personal exemptions.

Property Tax

The state of Pennsylvania does not levy or collect taxes on real estate or personal property. Instead, those taxes are reserved for the local governments including counties, municipalities and school districts. Property taxes in Pennsylvania are collected only on real estate -- land and buildings -- and not on other types of property like cars or business inventory.

Sales & Use Tax

It's especially helpful for travelers to be aware of the Pennsylvania sales tax rates in advance of visiting the state.

Pennsylvania imposes a 6% state sales tax on taxable goods and services (exemptions from sales tax include food, clothing, drugs, textbooks, resale items and residential heating fuels). A local sales tax of 1% is also collected on the sales of taxable goods and services in Philadelphia and Allegheny counties (for a total of 7% sales tax).

* It's important to note that local sales tax on motor vehicles is determined by the resident address of the purchaser, not by the location of the purchase.

Inheritance and Estate Tax

Pennsylvania collects an inheritance tax ranging from 6% for direct heirs to 15% for all other beneficiaries. Property inherited from a spouse or by a parent from a child 21 or younger is tax-exempt.

Other Pennsylvania Taxes

  • Cigarette Tax is 31 cents per pack, which is included in the price of cigarettes.
  • Gasoline (Fuel) Tax is 25.9 cents per gallon on gasoline and 30.8 cents on diesel fuel and is included in the price charged at the pump.
  • Realty Transfer Tax is collected by Pennsylvania counties at the rate of 1% on the monetary worth of the real estate.

For more information on Pennsylvania taxes, visit the website of the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. Residents and visitors may also contact the automated FACT and information line at 1-888-PATAXES.