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Pepperdine University School of Law

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Friday, July 16, 2010

'Sin Tax' Revenue Surges

The Treasury Department's Alcohol and Tobacco Trade and Tax Bureau has released its Fiscal Year 2009 Annual Report, detailing a 41% increase (to $20.6 billion) in the amount of "sin taxes" on alcohol, tobacco, firearms, and ammunition collected by the federal government.  Most of the $6 billion revenue increase resulted from the higher tobacco taxes included in the Children's Health Insurance Reauthorization Act of 2009.  Firearms and ammunition excise tax collection rose 45%, the largest annual increase in the agency's history. Reuters explains the surge in firearms and ammunition excise taxes in FY 2009:

Gallup Poll conducted in early October 2009 said one possible explanation for the surge in gun and ammunition sales could be that more than 50% of the Americans who owned guns and some 41% of all Americans believed that President Obama would "attempt to ban the sale of guns in the United States while he is president."

Data from the first six months of FY 2010 report a 56.5% increase (to $12.1 billion) in the amount of sin taxes.  Most of the increase again was the result of the higher tobacco taxes.  Firearms and ammunition excise taxes fell 8.4%.

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