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The Dirty Dozen: 12 States That Bet Big on Sin

By Nikhil Hutheesing - 2013-06-26T17:36:00Z

Photograph by SIME/eStock

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Sin Taxes, Percentage of Revenue: 4.22%
Total Sin Tax Revenue (2012): $159.46 million

In the past 10 years, Maine has not been big on increasing sin taxes -- they’re up just 11.2 percent. The state just shot down two possible tobacco tax increases. One would have hiked the cigarette tax from $2 per pack to $3.50; the other would have increased taxes on all tobacco products to match the cigarette tax. The focus has now shifted to alcohol, where taxes are higher. When you buy a bottle of liquor in Maine, 67 percent of the typical purchase price of that bottle goes toward a tax of some kind, according to the Distilled Spirits Council in Augusta. Many want those taxes reduced -- yet the cost of alcohol may only move higher. Maine is considering raising the general sales tax rate to 5.5 percent from 5 percent, which would impact alcohol sales.