The sales tax is the most heavily targeted “regressive tax.” And it is regressive, but only when it’s applied. Major necessities of life are exempt from it – housing, groceries, medical and dental care, prescription drugs – as are public transportation, library books, and city parks. Restaurant meals, which by comparison with the grocery stores fall into the luxury category, are subject to the sales tax.
Some other targeted taxes are actually optional. The tobacco tax is optional, and I don’t pay it. The liquor tax is optional, and I don’t pay it. The beer tax is optional, and I do pay it. The gasoline tax is optional, and I don’t pay it. Another optional one is the vehicle registration fee, but I don’t pay it; I’m a bus rider.
The damage of massive cuts in bus service would dwarf that from proposed increases in these taxes. There is no effective, relatively painless way to avert the cuts.