The Truth About Beverage Taxes
Over the past several years, approximately 30 states and cities across the country have proposed or introduced beverage taxes. All have failed.
A Few Examples...
CALIFORNIA: Voters in two cities overwhelmingly defeated ballot measures in November 2012 to tax sweetened beverages. Yet, both cities have a history of passing local taxes.
· Richmond, a working class city outside of San Francisco, was an ideal location to pass the first city tax of its kind on beverages. Democrats outnumber Republicans by roughly 7 -1, and the city’s voters traditionally support new taxes. In fact, they passed three other local taxes on the November 2012 ballot.
· El Monte, a working class city outside of Los Angeles, has a history of supporting local taxes. In 2008, voters passed a 1⁄2 cent sales tax increase that made their local tax rate one of the highest in the nation. The tax was approved with 71% of the vote.
MAINE: In 2008, the state legislature passed a soft drink tax. That same year, voters overturned the tax through a referendum on the ballot. The referendum to kill the tax passed 64.65% - 35.35%.
WASHINGTON STATE: In 2010, the state legislature passed a soft drink tax. That same year, voters overturned the tax through a referendum on the ballot. The referendum to kill the tax passed 60% - 40%.
PHILADELPHIA: In 2010 and 2011, the Mayor of Philadelphia proposed a tax on soft drinks but failed to pass it through the City Council. Having failed two times, the Mayor didn’t attempt a soft drink tax in 2012.
NEW YORK: In 2009 and 2010, the Governor of New York proposed a tax on soft drinks but failed to get it through the legislative process.
CALIFORNIA: In 2010 a bill was introduced in the state legislature to tax soft drinks. It received a hearing but failed to get out of committee.
FROM COAST TO COAST, VOTERS AGREE...
Government can’t legislate healthy lifestyles. What you eat, drink and feed your family is your choice and does not need government control oversight or influence. Politicians should focus on what matters most –education, safety and jobs – and leave the grocery shopping to us.