Why is sales tax charged on a used vehicle purchased from an individual? When a vehicle is purchased new the sales tax is paid on it at that point. If I, as an individual, sell the vehicle later, I do not get a tax credit to use against another vehicle like I do if I trade it in...seems like the states are collecting tax on an object numerous times...this does not happen with other consumer goods like tv's, furniture and the like...so why can they do it on cars?
It's called a sales tax, not an object tax. The state is taxing your sale of an item. Regardless of how many times a particular object is sold, it is each sale itself that is taxed.
You are supposed to collect sales tax each and every time you make a sale of most objects. If you purchase something and do not pay sales tax, your are supposed to report it to your state and pay use tax. Of course, most people don't actually do this, but that does not make tax go away. Cars are generally more "formalized" transactions involving state registrations, so it is an opportunity for your state to enforce the tax on you, a tax you genuinely owe.