Sin Tax

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Sin Tax

A tax on a good or service considered socially or ethically undesirable. For example, a government may levy a tax on the sale of alcohol. A sin tax finances programs to discourage the undesirable practice (in this example, it may fund anti-teen drinking programs). However, a sin tax may simply be a way for a government to generate revenue from something people are expected to do anyway.
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The forum considered whether sin taxes are guided by clear taxation principles that reduce behaviors society wishes to discourage, or if they are simply a convenient means to help boost state budgets.
Since it is difficult for advocates to claim that the poor do not take the hardest economic blow from sin taxes, they tend to make the dubious argument that the poor will enjoy the largest health benefits, or simply assert that sin taxes might not be fair but are justifiable on other grounds.
In the case of the business margins tax, 27 percent of those who were dissatisfied said they think that tax should be increased; 18 percent said the same about sin taxes.
As the justification for sin taxes shifts from solving a social engineering problem to a more explicit paternalistic approach, the logic of the argument shifts.
One of the major arguments raised against sin taxes is that they fall disproportionately on the poor, who typically engage in unhealthy behaviors at higher rates than other segments of the population.
Instead, let us have sin taxes that take a bite out of the wallets of the rich, and put some money in the poor box for those most sinned against.
Zimmerman discusses excise taxes, focusing on state cigarette and liquor taxes, the most common of the sin taxes.
UK prices were high because successive Chancellors had whacked up duty on beers, wines and spirits, while their Continental counterparts levied only tiny sin taxes.
Lynch denied his move to again raise socalled sin taxes was a risky political strategy less than two months before he files to seek a third, two-year term of office.
And since public health programs are increasingly funded through sin taxes, states have gone fishing for a sin.
offers a new approach to the question of whether our sin taxes on alcohol are doing very much to inculcate the intended virtues.
SIN TAXES If your state experienced severe budget shortfalls, which would you rather see in addition to belt tightening?