Texas is a huge state with many industries, so it’s no surprise that many people who stay here see themselves paying a lot in sales tax. The percentage that’s tacked on may seem small when you’re buying two or three things at the grocery store, but when you spend over a thousand dollars, suddenly that sales tax is shocking.

Here’s what you should know about the Texas sales tax and how much it adds up to.

The Good News

Although the sales tax can be steep, the good news is that you’re already saving money on taxes if you live and work in Texas. There’s no income tax in the entire state, which means you can keep more of your paycheck and pour that money back into the state’s economy. The average income tax in most states is over 9%, which means that you’re coming out ahead regardless of the sales.

The Real Numbers

The Texas sales tax currently sits at 6.5%. Although this is relatively low, cities and municipalities can tack on their own sales tax, adding up to no more than 8.5%. The average sales tax paid in the USA is no more than 7.5% after cities add their taxes into it, so this extra one percent can be seen as expensive depending on how much the product you’re purchasing costs. Although sales tax is necessary, it’s understandable to be frustrated with how pricey this is.

What that Means Long-Term

In the long term, the average consumer spends over $20,000 on consumer goods every year. This means food, computers, phones, even pencils, and paper. If you were to pay 8.5% of this in taxes, that’s an additional $1,700 poured into taxes every year. This is a lot of money when laid out in this way, but portioning it into payments with small purchases makes it far more affordable.

Some Items Are Taxed Extra

Smoking is a hard habit to kick, but if you do it in Texas, you’ll be paying the price for it. The average carton of 20 cigarettes is taxed an extra $1.41 per carton, which means you could be racking up a lot more money in spending. Many states charge additional taxes for alcohol, but Texas keeps it at the flat 6.5%. Some luxury items are also taxed differently, but it depends on the item and how much it was to purchase it.

Why It’s Worth It

Getting to live in an awesome state without income taxes makes the steep sales tax worth it. Getting to save that couple of hundred dollars every paycheck makes apartments in San Antonio far more affordable and gives you the chance to save your money instead of seeing it vanish. This sales tax is easy to work around as long as you think about it correctly. Texas is a state with many promises and room for growth, don’t let 6.5% to 8.5% ruin a great state.