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

A Review of 2010’s Changes In State Tax Policy

Tax Foundation Report Outlines Significant State Tax Changes in 2010

Sales Tax Holidays: Politically Expedient but Poor Tax Policy

Congress Considers Restrictions on State and Local Rental Car Taxes

Map: State Gasoline Tax Rates, As of January 2010

There Is No Such Thing As a Complimentary Breakfast

Wishful Thinking About Tax Burdens in Ohio

State Sales, Gasoline, Cigarette, and Alcohol Tax Rates by State, 2000-2014

State and Local General and Selective Sales Tax Collections Per Capita, Fiscal Year 2007

Utah Senate Committee Rejects First of Two Cigarette Tax Increases

Pennsylvania Governor Proposes Spending Boost, Broader Sales Tax, Heavier Business Taxes

Georgia Should Respond to Recession with Tax Reform, Not Tax Gimmicks

New Podcast: Joe Henchman on Taxation of Online Travel Companies

Cities Pursue Discriminatory Taxation of Online Travel Services; Result is Harm to Interstate Commerce

Cities Pursue Discriminatory Taxation of Online Travel Services

Want Marijuana Legalized? Get Politicians Addicted

Where Do State and Local Governments Get Their Tax Revenue?

Pennsylvania is Scene of Disappointing Budget Deals

Sales Tax Holidays: Politically Expedient but Poor Tax Policy

States Begin New Fiscal Year Following Many Tax Changes