Center for State Tax Policy

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

California Court Rejects “Voluntariness” In Labeling 911 Charge as a Tax

May 6, 2008

Telecom Taxes Have Run Amok

April 30, 2008

Forget Lotteries and Liquor Stores: State to Operate Tobacco Stores

April 1, 2008

States Target Cell Phones for a Stealth, Burdensome Tax

January 18, 2008

A State-by-State Estimate of the Impact of SCHIP Expansion and a 156 Percent Cigarette Tax Hike

June 28, 2007

Toll Revenue vs. Motor Fuel Taxes by State, 2005

June 11, 2007

State Motor Fuel Tax Collections by State, 2006

June 7, 2007

Sales Tax Holidays: Politically Expedient but Poor Tax Policy

August 3, 2006

Temporary Gasoline Tax Holidays: Relief for Motorists or Poor Tax Policy?

July 10, 2006

Gas Tax Revenues Surge in the States

May 11, 2006

Local, State and Federal Gas Taxes Consume 45.9 Cents Per Gallon on Average

September 13, 2005

Dates of Adoption of Major State Taxes

January 1, 2005

The Taxation of Energy in the U.S.: Who Pays?

March 1, 1994