A new study by the Tax Foundation has found that US states are increasingly extending higher tax rates to products like candy and soda, ostensibly to fight obesity, and that this is creating a complex and confusing classification system to divide the ‘good’ food and drink products from the allegedly ‘bad’ ones.
According to the study, 17 states tax candy at a higher rate than other groceries, while four states collect a special excise tax on soda. In addition, in 2011, 14 more states have proposed new soda taxes and two states proposed new candy taxes, and some of the soda tax proposals would have raised prices by as much as 264%.
"While reducing obesity-related health problems is a worthy goal, adding an additional tax burden to particular food and beverage categories is a clumsy and inefficient strategy," said Tax Foundation analyst Scott Drenkard. "Obesity taxes fall on all consumers, including those who consume candy and soda in moderation and have no weight-related health issues."
The Tax Foundation adds that recent studies suggest that, even when selective taxes on certain food products do cause individuals to consume less, those same individuals replace the calories avoided with other foods, resulting in no net decrease in caloric intake.
In addition, it points out that, to questions about the effectiveness of reducing obesity rates, the systems already in place for taxing candy and soda illustrate the unexpected difficulties in deciding what does and what does not count as candy and even soda.
What is "a little chubby" and will we be hiring new government employees to check our weight and our kitchen cabinets???
We were hit hard this past weekend with snow and many lost power. It also has been cold and people are upset with the power companies and the time it is taking to get the power restored. Some are heading to motels, some have had to close businesses. I learned today that some cities and towns had put in an ordinance that before a tree limb is able to get cut, to free power lines and remove from car tops, a licensed arborist must be on sight before any work can proceed. Now I love trees, but I love being warm more. Please stop helping me..................................