New Jersey’s Super Bowl of Taxes - GSI - Garden State Initiative

New Jersey’s Super Bowl of Taxes – GSI

Public Spending, Economic Opportunity for All

New Jersey’s Super Bowl of Taxes – GSI

February 11, 2022

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By William J. Smith, GSI Staff

With inflation reaching levels unseen in a generation, there’s no doubt that your Super Bowl party is going to cost considerably more on Sunday. While the cost of wings, guacamole and beverages continue to rise with all consumer prices, there’s a number of hidden “excise” taxes on Super Sunday staples that can put a dent in your wallet here in New Jersey.

Excise taxes are imposed at the federal and state level on various goods, services and activities and are usually passed onto the consumer in the form of higher prices.

Inflation and New Jersey’s myriad excise taxes are teaming up for a 1-2 punch on your Super Bowl party.

If you plan to head out and buy a new television to watch the big game, that $549 60 inch Samsung Smart TV will cost you close to $40 in sales tax. Plan to watch cable television on that new set? You’ll be looking at another fee.

Let’s take a look at “adult beverages.” If you’re a beer drinker, the state collects 12 cents per gallon. For wine, it’s steeper, at 88 cents per gallon. Plan to enjoy the game with a martini or margarita? A gallon of hard liquor is taxed $5.50 by the state. And of course, each purchase is subject to the state’s 6.625% sales tax.

Plan to place a wager on the game with New Jersey’s sports betting law? Your gambling winnings are taxable income, and the current state tax rate is 8.5% for retail sportsbook wins and 13% for wins at online sportsbooks or on mobile apps.

If your team wins the Lombardi Trophy and you want to light up a “victory cigar”? Add 30% for taxes on to the price.     

Whether you’ve been drowning your sorrows, or celebrating a victory, having someone drive you home is a good choice. Plan to take a take an Uber or Lyft? Tack on another 50 cents in taxes for the cost of your ride. 

While we can’t predict whether the Joe Burrow’s Bengals or Matthew Stafford’s Rams will be winners on Sunday, there’s no doubt that New Jersey’s Treasury will be looking forward to collecting its share of your Super Bowl purchases.