State Sin Tax Collections

State Sin Tax Collections

States rely on tobacco, alcohol and gambling taxes for 4% of their total revenue.  The states, however, tax these sins very differently.  Nevada is the biggest outlier.  It raises 15% of its revenue from sin taxes with gambling accounting for 86%.  California, in contract, raises under 1% of its revenue from sin taxes with tobacco accounting for 69%.  The chart below, which is based on data from governing.com,  summarizes the breakdown of sin taxes for the 12 states that raised over $1B from tobacco, alcohol and gambling taxes:

The 100% stacked bar chart allows the reader to compare the proportion of sin tax revenue that comes from tobacco, alcohol and gambling across the states.  I added data rows to show total sin tax and the proportion of revenue that each state receives from sin taxes.  I used the first bar to present the averages for the entire country.  In a portrait slide or document, you could show all 50 states on one page.  This could be the best way to see how a specific state uses sin taxes and what opportunities there might be for additional revenue in that state.  The above chart is in SlideShare and can be downloaded and edited using Mekko Graphics.