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regressive tax

A tax that takes a higher percentage of low incomes than high ones. Sales taxes, especially on food, clothing, medicine, and other basic necessities are widely cited as examples of regressive taxes. (Compare progressive tax.)

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.