Excise taxes are a mixed bag of taxes imposed on purchases of various products. The Tax Foundation summarizes:
Like general sales taxes, excise taxes are paid on the purchase of an item. Unlike sales taxes, excise taxes are collected on specific types of transactions, not a wide range of general goods. Some of the most common excise taxes include gas taxes, cigarette taxes, and taxes on the purchase of beer, wine, and liquor. Others include taxes on the purchase of amusements, insurance premiums, and pari-mutuels.
It won’t surprise many to learn that Washington comes in pretty high in the Tax Foundation’s ranking: 10th highest, with a per capita excise tax burden of $683.
TF calls out the top five highest and those with the lowest.
Vermont comes in highest in the nation with $1,029 in total state and local excise tax collections per person. Rounding out the rest of the top five are Nevada ($887 per person), Hawaii ($868 per person), Minnesota ($817 per person), and Connecticut ($812 per person).
On the low end, Wyoming state and local governments collect only $285 per person, followed by Idaho ($295 per person), Arizona ($304 per person), South Carolina ($321 per person), and Nebraska ($323 per person).
It’s hard to draw many conclusions from the data. The high tax states include some with income taxes and one without; same at the bottom. Still, it’s always interesting to examine the variety of tax burdens and see where we rank.