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.


Related Articles

Justice Scalia’s Legacy and What Happens Next

February 13, 2016

What Percentage of Lottery Winnings Would Be Withheld in Your State?

January 13, 2016

How High Are Champagne Taxes in Your State?

December 29, 2015

The Opening Salvo of 2016’s Soda Tax Battle

December 18, 2015

Congress Reaches Deal on Five-Year Highway Funding Bill

December 2, 2015

Record High Taxes and Fees on Wireless Consumers in 2015

November 16, 2015

Voters in Five States Decide Tax-Related Ballot Initiatives

November 4, 2015

Voters in Five States Consider Tax-Related Initiatives

November 2, 2015

A Letter to the New York Times on Soda Taxes

October 22, 2015

How Is Your State’s Road Spending Funded?

September 16, 2015

Colorado Suspends Marijuana Tax for One Day on September 16

September 9, 2015

Senator Carper Introduces Gas Tax Increase Paired With EITC and Child Tax Credit Expansion

August 12, 2015

Senate Approves Three-Month Highway Trust Fund Extension

July 31, 2015

When Did Your State Enact Its Gas Tax?

July 30, 2015

How High Are Gas Taxes in Your State?

July 23, 2015

House Republicans Introduce Temporary Highway Funding Bill

July 14, 2015

Raining on Our Parade: Chicago Starts Taxing the Cloud

July 13, 2015

Lawmaker Introduces Federal Gas Tax Reform

July 13, 2015

New Revenues in Washington State Budget

July 6, 2015

Michigan Trying Again on Transportation Funding

July 2, 2015