Excise Taxes

Excise taxes are special taxes on specific goods or activities—such as gasoline, tobacco or gambling—rather than general tax bases such as income or consumption. Excise taxes are often included in the final price of products and services, and are often hidden to consumers.

Overall, excise taxes account for less than 10 percent of all federal receipts. All 50 states and many local municipalities levy excise taxes of various kinds. Studies show excise taxes are disproportionately borne by low-income taxpayers, making them one of the most regressive components of the U.S. tax system.


Featured Research

The Impact of the Biden Administration’s Tax Proposals by State and Congressional District

June 30, 2021

State Tax Changes Taking Effect July 1, 2021

June 29, 2021

How Stable is Cigarette Tax Revenue?

May 3, 2021

How Are Your State’s Roads Funded?

April 21, 2021

Options for Reforming America’s Tax Code 2.0

April 19, 2021

Arcane Federal Tax on Sports Betting Is Too Much to Handle

April 8, 2021


Related Articles

The Surprising Challenge of Too Much Tax Revenue—and Florida’s No-Gas-Tax Solution

November 23, 2021

Norway’s New Budget Adds Unnecessary Complexity

November 16, 2021

How Do Build Back Better Taxes Affect 5G Competition?

November 15, 2021

Republican Cannabis Bill Would Tax by Category

November 15, 2021

Complexity Harms Tobacco Tax Design in Cigarette-Popular Indonesia

November 10, 2021

Wrong Tax Base Leads to Multiple Issues for Federal Nicotine Tax Proposal

November 4, 2021

Tracking 2021 Election Results: State Tax Ballot Measures

November 2, 2021

Lawmakers Consider Untested and Complex Policies to Fund Reconciliation Bill

October 28, 2021

Coloradans to Vote on Structurally Unsound Property and Cannabis Tax Changes

October 22, 2021

Excise Taxes and Fees on Wireless Services Increase Again in 2021

October 12, 2021

Should Tax Policy Play a Role in Tobacco Harm Reduction?

October 8, 2021

Federal Plastics Tax Is Not a Good Revenue Raiser

September 30, 2021

Federal Tobacco Tax Proposal Could Result in 50% Increase in State Taxes

September 20, 2021

Yes, the U.S. Tax Code Is Progressive

September 17, 2021

House Tobacco Proposals Defy Biden’s Tax Pledge and Undermine Harm Reduction Efforts

September 13, 2021

Reviewing Wyden’s Reconciliation Tax Policy Proposals

September 7, 2021

A Guide to the Fossil Fuel Provisions of the Biden Budget

September 2, 2021

Cigarette Taxes in Europe

September 2, 2021

Tax Foundation Comments to the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act

September 2, 2021

Lawmakers’ Tax Rate to Help Pay for Reconciliation is 1,900 Percent

August 31, 2021