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How Much Do We Pay in Taxes for These Everyday Items?


An alarming portion of the price that you pay for everyday products go directly to government coffers.  Some of the worst taxes fall under the "sin tax" laws, as the IRS defines on its website:

A sin tax is used to discourage the use of products and services that could pose a risk to someone's health, such as alcohol and cigarettes. Puritan colonists used the earliest sin taxes in this country.

So let's begin with cigarettes:


Pack of 20 (small) 

Federal Tax Per Pack: $1.01 


Pack of 20 (large)

Federal Tax Per Pack: $2.11

Here is an amazing info graphic showing the amounts raised through tobacco taxes: 


Next is alcohol

Many alcohols are taxed at different quantities by the government. But here are some basic federal measures:


Barrel of Beer (31 gallons)

Federal Tax Per Barrel: $18 


Gallon of Wine 

Federal Tax Per Gallon: $1.07 (with alcohol content below 14%) 


Distilled spirits 

Federal Tax Per Gallon Proof: $13.50 

From TTB.Gov: "A proof gallon is a gallon of liquid that is 100 proof, or 50% alcohol. The tax is adjusted, depending on the percentage of alcohol of the product."

Here is an amazing info graphic showing the amounts raised through alcohol taxes: 


Although not a member of the aforementioned "sin taxes," gas is nevertheless a huge source of revenue for the feds:


Gallon of Gas

Federal Tax Per Gallon: 18.40¢ 

State Tax Per Gallon (average): 22.26¢ 

Average Tax Per Gallon Nationwide: 49.05¢ 


Gallon of Diesel

Federal Tax Per Gallon: 24.40¢ 

State Tax Per Gallon (average): 23.78¢

Average Tax Per Gallon Nationwide:  54.5¢ 

Every state has a different statewide gas tax.  Some of them are close to 40¢ a gallon! See below:



Here is a map averaging the local, state, and federal taxes per gallon of gas:


Here is a map averaging the local, state and federal taxes per gallon of Diesel:


These fees will net the feds nearly $37 billion every year.

The cost of your guns and ammo are increased by at least 10% because of federal law:


Pistols and revolvers

Standard Tax On All Sales: 10% 


Rifles and shotguns

Standard Tax On All Sales: 11% 



Standard Tax On All Sales: 11% 

Coal is also taxed by percentage:


According to the Internal Revenue Service Coal Excise Tax:

The tax is imposed at two rates, depending on whether the coal is from underground (deep) or surface mines. The tax on deep mined coal is the lower of $1.10 a ton or 4.4 percent of the sales price. The tax on surface mined coal is the lower of $.55 a ton or 4.4 percent of the sales price.



Standard Tax On All Doses of Vaccine: 75¢ 

The tax is $.75 per dose of each taxable vaccine. The tax per dose on a vaccine that contains more than one taxable vaccine is $.75 times the number of taxable vaccines.

The Vaccines Taxed:  Tetanus, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis A & B, gastroenteritis, HIB, influenza, chicken pox, meningococcal, human papillomavirus and many, many more.

Sport fishing equipment


The IRS does not like fishermen:

A tax of 10% of the sale price is imposed on many articles of sport fishing equipment sold by the manufacturer. This includes any parts or accessories sold on or in connection with the sale of those articles.

Standard Tax On All Sales: 10%


Outboard Motors

Standard Tax On All Sales: 3%

Bows and arrows


Bows, Quivers, Broadheads, and Points

Standard Tax On All Sales: 11%

*Just a friendly reminder, these taxes are added into the cost of the product. The product then typically gets a sales tax added on top of it along with any other taxes a particular state enforces (for instance).

You can check out where we compiled all this information at the IRS website and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau resource site.

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