States have profited from the public’s voracious appetite for easy money (gambling), nicotine (smoking) and booze (alcohol) for years. Some are more successful at it than others. A few states generate less than 1% of their revenue from preying on their residents’ vices while sin accounts for between 5% and nearly 13% of the budgets of others. Some of the difference can be chalked up to varying rates of addiction, but aggressive tax policy also plays a part. Pennsylvania makes the greatest percent of its revenue from gaming taxes of any state. It charges a 55% tax on slot machine proceeds. Conversely, Las Vegas collects only 8%.
Sin is profitable for many reasons. For one thing, it sells well. In New Hampshire, more than half of its state revenue comes from tobacco sales. Meanwhile, states like Michigan generate revenue evenly across all sins. Still others, such as New Jersey, make a great deal from these bad habits because they’re taxed at such a high rate.
- The Ten States That Make The Most From Sin (247wallst.com)
- Sin tax for obesity (geneveith.com)
- Lowering Sin Taxes to Attract Those Lucrative Sinners (economix.blogs.nytimes.com)
- The Ugly Truth About Sin Taxes (dickstersrandomthoughts.com)
- Taxing Obesity to Encourage Weight Loss (socyberty.com)
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