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Excise levy on goods or services considered to be luxuries rather than necessities (e.g., jewelry and perfume). Luxury taxes may be levied with the intent of taxing the rich or in a deliberate effort to alter consumption patterns, either for moral reasons or in times of national emergency. Today revenue productivity generally overshadows the moral argument.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on luxury tax, visit Britannica.com.
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