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How Much Does Your State Collect in Excise Taxes Per Capita?

1 min readBy: Liz Malm

State and local governments depend on many different types of taxes, one of which is known as an excise taxAn excise tax is a tax imposed on a specific good or activity. Excise taxes are commonly levied on cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, soda, gasoline, insurance premiums, amusement activities, and betting, and typically make up a relatively small and volatile portion of state and local and, to a lesser extent, federal tax collections. . Like general sales taxes, excise taxes are paid on the purchase of an item. But unlike sales taxes, excise taxes are collected on specific types of transactions, not a wide range of general goods. Some of the most common excise taxes include gasoline excise taxes, cigarette taxes, and taxes on the purchase of beer, wine, and liquor. Others include taxes on the purchase of amusements, insurance premiums, and pari-mutuels. (You can revisit our general sales taxA sales tax is levied on retail sales of goods and services and, ideally, should apply to all final consumption with few exemptions. Many governments exempt goods like groceries; base broadening, such as including groceries, could keep rates lower. A sales tax should exempt business-to-business transactions which, when taxed, cause tax pyramiding. collection map here.)

This week’s map looks at the amount of excise taxA tax is a mandatory payment or charge collected by local, state, and national governments from individuals or businesses to cover the costs of general government services, goods, and activities. collections per person collected in each state. On average, $517 per person was collected in each state in FY 2012 (includes local governments within the state, as well).

Vermont comes in highest in the nation with $1,013 in total state and local excise tax collections per person in fiscal year 2012. Rounding out the rest of the top five are Nevada ($882 per person), Minnesota ($817 per person), Connecticut ($811 per person), and Hawaii ($785 per person).

On the low end, Wyoming state and local governments collect the least per capita at $283 per person, followed by Idaho ($292 per person), Georgia ($320 per person), Nebraska ($323 per person), and Arizona and South Carolina (both $330 per person).
Check out the map below to see how your state compares.

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Click on map to enlarge. (See our reposting policy here.)

To see the raw data from the Census Bureau, visit this website. To see what taxes are included in our measure of excise taxes, see here.

More on excise taxes here. Follow Liz on Twitter: @elizabeth_malm.