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Talking Tax Reform: Excise Taxes in the 21st Century

Excise taxes, which are applied to items as diverse as alcohol, medical devices, gasoline, and indoor tanning, are an important tool in federal policymakers’ toolkit. 

Designed as a narrow tax on consumption, generally to remediate an externality or to approximate a user fee, excise taxes are often looked to as a way for policymakers’ to pay for desired spending programs or tax changes. 

Our panelists discussed: 

  • The best way to levy federal excise taxes 
  • Recent and anticipated changes in the excise tax landscape 
  • Excise tax reforms policymakers should consider 

Daniel Bunn, Director of Global Projects at the Tax Foundation, moderated the panel, which included: