KBTX - Money - Headlines

Taxes You May Not Know You're Paying

By: Joe Brown Email
By: Joe Brown Email

No one likes to pay taxes, but most of us accept it's a sacrifice we have to make. All we want is to know when they're coming, how much and what they're for. But that's not always the case. Some are hidden away in the prices we pay.

Take the gasoline tax for example. While it's easy to blame big oil as it touts record profits, keep in mind your paying an average of $.46 per gallon for federal, state and local taxes.

And if you like to drive a big vehicle like an SUV, you have a tax double whammy. You're not only paying that big gasoline tax, but you also got stuck with a special gas guzzler tax that dealers are charged, then passed on to you. This tax can go as high as $7,700.

What about travel taxes? Airfare, hotels and rental cars all come with a hefty tax on them. Case in point: You pay a 7.5-percent tax on a domestic ticket and a $3 tax for each segment of a flight.

Then there's the insurance premium tax. It accounts for $9 billion in revenue a year. States charge insurance companies a tax on the insurance premiums. They then pass it on to you.

If that wasn't enough, there's the sin taxes which penalizes you for your lifestyle choices. If you choose to smoke, $.39 of every pack goes to the federal government. Many state and local governments tack on even more.

Like peanut butter? You may not know this but the price of foreign, and often less expensive, peanut butter is subject to an excise tax that can raise the price as much as 143 percent.

And finally, what's more American than fishing? Unfortunately, taxes. And there's a hidden 10-percent tax when you buy fishing gear.

Remember, just because it doesn't slap you in the face, don't assume anything in life is free, or tax free.


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