What have you always wondered about the economy? Tell us
By The Numbers

Five taxes you didn’t know you were paying, in GIFs

Margaret Aery May 7, 2013

These days, it seems like airlines are trying to squeeze a dollar out of consumers any way they can. Pack a bag, pay an extra $25. Pick a seat, throw down another $30. Care for a pack of peanuts? That could cost you, too.

Now, it looks like the federal government may trying to cash in on your travel plans as well. As part of his new budget proposal, President Barack Obama plans to increase federal taxes and fees on airlines tickets.

But before you brace for change, here’s a look at some other tax-heavy items you already pay more for.

1. Cell Phones

Almost everyone’s been slapped in the face by an unexpectedly high phone bill. But did you know that you’re also paying 5.8 percent sales tax on your cell phone? That might be enough to make you want to slap your phone right back.

2. Gas

Even small fluctuations in gas prices can sometimes send consumers chasing around town for the cheapest rates. But did you know that for every gallon, you’re also being hit with 18.4 cents of sales tax? It’s practically highway robbery!

3. Beer

Beer’s usually made to do down pretty smooth, but there is one hiccup with consuming frosty brews in this country — 58 cents per gallon sales tax.

 4. Liquor

Drinking liquor can get anyone tipsy, but with a sales tax of $13.50 per gallon, who can blame the average consumer for getting tripped up?


5. Cigarettes

Ever since 1965, and the start of anti-smoking campaigns, cigarette prices have been on the rise. Today, legislators tack on an extra $1.00 of sales tax per pack, hoping high prices will help convince smokers to drop the habit.



As a nonprofit news organization, our future depends on listeners like you who believe in the power of public service journalism.

Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay.

Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference.