Low-income individuals pay a higher amount of taxes compared to high-income earners under a regressive tax system. That's because the government assesses tax as a percentage of the value of the asset that a taxpayer purchases or owns. This type of tax has no correlation with an individual's earnings or income level.1?
Regressive taxes include property taxes, sales taxes on goods, and excise taxes on consumables, such as gasoline or airfare. Excise taxes are fixed and they're included in the price of the product or service.
Sin taxes, a subset of excise taxes, are imposed on commodities or activities that are perceived to be unhealthy or have a negative effect on society, such as cigarettes, gambling, and alcohol. They're levied in an effort to deter individuals from purchasing these products. Sin tax critics argue that these disproportionately affect those who are less well off.