July 4 celebrations: States and fireworks taxes

As Americans prepare to celebrate Independence Day on Thursday, some states plan to take an extra bite out of the fun in the form of taxes on fireworks.

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Not all states permit consumer use of fireworks, however. Massachusetts has a ban on all consumer fireworks, while other states – including Ohio and Illinois – have strict regulations governing use. Others – like California and New York – don’t allow the sale or use of fireworks that are explosive.

But most states do allow for some form of fireworks.

According to data from the American Pyrotechnics Association, consumer fireworks revenue in 2018 totaled $945 million, while display fireworks revenue was $360 million.

Here’s a look at some of the states that impose excise taxes on sales of fireworks, as compiled by Kiplinger:


According to the Georgia Department of Revenue’s website, the excise tax on retail sales of consumer fireworks is 5 percent.


In Indiana, businesses that sell fireworks are required to collect a 5 percent “public safety fee.” That applies to firecrackers, wire sparklers and missile-type rockets, according to the state.


The state excise tax in Michigan is 6 percent.


Pennsylvania imposes a consumer fireworks tax at a rate of 12 percent on the sales price of fireworks.

In an example, the state detailed a $10.00 sale of consumer grade fireworks, which would be subject to the 6 percent state sales tax ($0.60) and the 12 percent fireworks tax ($1.27) bringing the total purchase amount to $11.87.


West Virginia

Like Pennsylvania, all West Virginia retailers of consumer fireworks are also required to charge a 12 percent safety fee, in addition to sales tax.

Many other states impose retail fees on fireworks as well.