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We currently have tags for:

A tabular set of data linked one-to-one to a set of spatial features.

A characteristic of an object (person, thing, etc.). In the GIS field, it is used to refer to the non-spatial data associated with a location or geometry

41 questions are tagged with both.

Are both tags needed?

When I noticed these two tags show up on the same question yesterday, I wondered whether it was because the asker had trouble deciding which to use, and if that is confusing to askers, whether we might be dealing with two tags that could be synonymized.

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Yes, I believe both tags are appropriate, although I can see that they might both be used for the same thing at times.

I would use if I was asking something to do with actual attribute data, whereas I'd use if my question was related to creating or modifying the actual table, table-structure, field-types (although there are separate tags for that).

To me there is enough difference between attribute and attribute-table to keep them separate.

In particular, as commented by @nmtoken:

Attributes can apply to data that is not tabulated, such as in XML or JSON.

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    Attributes can apply to data that is not tabulated, such as in XML or JSON. – nmtoken Feb 28 '18 at 13:41

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