In 2011 I wrote about Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia trying to pass a soda tax in an article entitled, Philadelphia Soda Tax: You’re not serious? Fast forward five years later and Mayor Jim Kenney is trying his hand at the soda tax as well. As I said back in 2011, I support funding our schools and parks but we need government to make better decisions with the tax money they are already receiving. I’m not a big soda drinker and while the tax won’t impact me too much personally, I’m objecting more on principle. Who’s to say they’ll stop at taxing just soda. You want a candy bar, that will be an additional tax. You want your steak rare, that will be an additional tax.
I was about to add liquor tax, but that’s already taxed in Philadelphia at 10% of retail sales. The soda tax is only a few pennies right? In the current proposal, Philadelphia’s proposed tax could add 36 cents to the cost of a 12-ounce can of soda – and 54 cents to the cost of a fountain drink of the same size.
In November 2014 Berkeley, Calif., became the first U.S. city to pass a law taxing soda. In 2013 New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg attempted to ban large size fountain drinks but was blocked by the courts. From the reports in the local newspapers it appears that Mayor Kenney has the votes needed to pass his soda tax.
I’m just concerned what other taxes will potentially follow. How long before they raise the tax to make up additional shortfalls?
What do you think? Is taxing soda the approach to getting America healthier? What do you think could be next?