by Chloe Anagos, Taxrevolution:
Americans are being taxed in ways that many don’t even notice. Commonly referred to as “hidden taxes,” these tolls are built into the cost of certain products. Often, these taxes don’t even appear on a bill or receipt. Here are some of the five most common hidden taxes:
In 2012, the federal government collected almost $10 billion in taxes from the purchase of wine, beer, and other spirits. According to the Tax Foundation, Washington has the highest spirit excise-tax rate at $33.54 per gallon. Followed closely in rates are Oregon, Virginia, and Alabama. The lowest are found in Wyoming and New Hampshire where government-run stores don’t typically rely on taxes and impose markups instead.
Listed in the “Options for Reducing the Deficit: 2015 to 2024” from the Congressional Budget Office, increasing all taxes on alcoholic beverages to $16 per proof gallon would increase the tax on a six-pack of beer from 33 cents to 81 cents. The tax on a bottle of wine would increase from about 21 cents to 70 cents.
(2) Cell phones
Have you ever looked at the taxes listed on your cell phone bill? According to a study from the Tax Foundation, the average customer pays more than 18 percent in taxes and fees on their wireless bill, which is several times more than state sales-tax rates. In fact, American consumers pay around $17 billion in wireless taxes, fees, and other surcharges combined.
The states with the highest cell phone taxes and fees are Washington, Nebraska, and New York while Oregon, Nevada, and Idaho have the lowest, respectively.
Cigarettes are taxed similarly to alcohol.
Signed in 2009, the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act raised the federal tax rate for cigarettes from 39 cents per pack to $1.01. This tax was used to increase insurance coverage under the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. Currently, cigarettes are the most expensive in Chicago. The city tax, plus Cook County’s tax, plus Illinois’ state tax comes out to $6.16. (And that doesn’t even include the actual cost of a pack!)
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