When I initially heard of the soda tax last year I honestly thought it was a joke. Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia is again proposing a two-cents-per-ounce excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages in order to close a $629 million school budget spending gap. Now I’m all for supporting our schools and these uncertain economic times are difficult for everyone but you honestly want to tax soda?
How many taxes do we as citizens of the United States of America already pay?
- Capital Gains Tax (15% on long term gains)
- Cigarette Tax ($0.36 per pack)
- Corporate Income Tax
- Federal Income Tax (25% for household making $100,000)
- Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
- Gasoline Tax ($0.48 per gallon)
- Inheritance Tax (4.5% direct descendants, 12% siblings and 15% other heirs)
- Interest Expense (tax on the money)
- Liquor Tax ($0.08 per gallon)
- Local (Wage) Income Tax (Philadelphia residents 3.928% non-residents 3.4985%)
- Luxury Taxes
- Medicare Tax
- Property Tax (assessed value x 8.264%)
- Real Estate Tax
- Sales Taxes (8% in Philadelphia)
- School Tax (3.9280%)
- Social Security Tax (4.2% for employees and 6.2% for employers)
- State Income Tax (Pennsylvania is a flat 3.07%)
- State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
- Telephone Federal Excise Tax
- Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes
- Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
- Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
- Telephone Recurring and Nonrecurring Charges Tax
- Telephone State and Local Tax
- Telephone Usage Charge Tax
- Vehicle Sales Tax (6% for title and registration)
List taken from Yahoo Answers and shorten to remove permit fees, user fees, etc. I’ve added some of the rates for Philadelphia and Pennsylvania above. If you look over the list it’s pretty scary to see all the different taxes that we pay.
So when you make your money you are taxed at the federal, state and local levels. When you spend your money your taxed again via the state sales tax and a host of other “additional” taxes. When you invest the money you’ve made and you in turn make more money you are taxed yet again.
I can see why the politicians wouldn’t mind adding yet another tax to the list.
As I previously mentioned I understand supporting our local, state and federal governments and our schools but we just can’t keep adding taxes to close what politicians and administrators see as “spending budget gaps”. On the flip side I do recognize that the US isn’t the worst country in the world as far as taxes goes. Look at Ireland for example, a country where I have many relatives and that I’ve personally visited has a federal income tax rate of 20% for earnings under ~ €45,400 (married couple) and 41% for earnings over that amount.
It’s not easy find a slice of the American Pie with Uncle Sam eating it all up.