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The Political Economy of Excise Taxation: Some Ethical and Legal Issues

October 1, 1998
By Robert W. McGee

Excise taxes are used not only to raise revenue but also to alter or punish behavior. In many cases, excise taxes can be called "sin" taxes because they punish people for politically incorrect behavior like smoking and consuming alcoholic beverages.

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Excise taxes are used not only to raise revenue but also to alter or punish behavior. In many cases, excise taxes can be called "sin" taxes because they punish people for politically incorrect behavior like smoking and consuming alcoholic beverages. This article examines the nonrevenue raising uses of excise taxes and analyzes their propriety from the perspectives of economics, law and ethics.

 

 

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Taxes Government Spending