This study examines the impact of tax rates and tax rate differentials in a trade area on local sales tax revenues. Sales data for FY 1986 were analyzed for the 75 nonmetropolitan communities in Oklahoma with populations between 2,500 and 50,000. Multiple regression techniques were used to estimate local tax revenues as a function of tax rates, tax rate differential and local community economic and locational attributes.

The results indicate that the tax rate differential was not significantly related to local revenue collection in the overall sample, but that the differential was significant for rural communities with relatively higher tax rates. Tax rate, income, service sector employment and a gravity factor were also significant influences on local sales tax revenues. These results imply that, because of the unique characteristics of rural retail markets and the dominance of rural trade centers, these rural trade center cities are able to raise local tax rates and effectively export tax burden to nonresidents without significantly affecting their retail sales when the tax differential is not a large one.