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Sin Tax

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Sin tax is a term that identifies a tax levied on certain items deemed to be a vice. By levying a sin tax, governments can discourage the use of such products without making them illegal. A sin tax is usually imposed on items or practices that the government would like to discourage for purposes of overall morality and health of the populace. Gambling, tobacco products, and alcohol are popular targets of the sin tax. A least traditional target of the sin tax has been the soda and sweetened beverage industry.

The sin tax can also become a large source of revenue for the government that charges it. Critics of the sin tax cite this as a potential moral hazard for legislators who can end up with a conflicting agenda of wanting to discourage certain practices while at the same time also hoping to generate revenue through the participation in those same practices.



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