7-28-16 – Vermont Highest in Nation for Excise Taxes

by Rob Roper

The Tax Foundation recently released a study of states and the per capita burden of excise taxes on their citizens. Vermont came in first (that’s bad) with an average Vermonters paying $1,029 in state and local excise taxes per year. We blew away second place Nevada, which came in at $878 and last place Wyoming at just $285.

The Tax Foundation explains, “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.”

The insidious thing about excise taxes are that they tend to be invisible to the consumer, thus creating a lack of accountability for the politicians who pass them. Do we blame politicians and the 44¢ per gallon in state and federal excise taxes we pay on each gallon, or the “greedy” oil companies forced to pass along the tax?

Just imagine how Vermont will fare in this ranking if we pass a $500 million per year Carbon Tax, which is an excise tax on fossil fuels?


— Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

stacie July 28, 2016 at 5:15 pm

I live in Vermont an its hard to make a living.


Shazzam July 28, 2016 at 10:19 pm

We get the kind of government we deserve …. doesn’t matter who the governor is, if the houses are made up of spending Dems someone has to pay the bill. The 2017 General fund spending, the largest chunk of state spending, is set at $1.54 billion, a 4 percent increase over the $1.48 billion appropriated in fiscal year 2016. By comparison, revenues in Vermont are projected to grow at a meager 2.2 percent.


John Gaskill July 29, 2016 at 2:08 am

Socialism is expensive. Too expensive. That is why it always fails. People flee the oppressive taxes until only freeloaders are left and the entire system collapses.


H. Brooke Paige July 29, 2016 at 2:10 am

Living the Life of Slaves to Our Montpelier Overlords in the “Land of Endless Taxes !”


Linda Baird-White July 29, 2016 at 2:33 pm

The August Primaries are coming right up very shortly.

Here’s an opportunity for Vermont Voters to …Get out and VOTE… and Pay Attention to Who & What they are actually voting for.


Jim Bulmer July 30, 2016 at 12:44 pm

Hooray!!!! Vermont is numero uno (# 1) once again. The folks in Montpelier must have their collective chests puffed way out!!! Unfortunately, we’re leading the WRONG parade and these folks should be ashamed of themselves. Why they continue to get reelected time and time again is beyond me. That’s why I’m going all out for Bruce Lisman so we can put an end to this madness!!!!!


Wendy Wilton July 31, 2016 at 2:12 pm

Vote Lisman. Scott has proposed a “Mileage Tax”, which I am guessing is his version of a Carbon Tax. Ugh.


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The Ethan Allen Institute is Vermont’s free-market public policy research and education organization. Founded in 1993, we are one of fifty-plus similar but independent state-level, public policy organizations around the country which exchange ideas and information through the State Policy Network.

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