Soft Drink Tax Could Be Coming To Illinois
It's been attempted and implemented in other states and municipalities, and now at least one Democrat State Senator in Illinois is pushing for a tax on soft drinks.
Because, hey, we're not taxed enough already, right? Perhaps we should be grateful it's not a full-on ban on large sugary drinks as Mayor Michael Bloomberg attempted in New York.
Ostensibly, the tax would be to "promote healthy living," but living in Illinois we know that all funds in Springfield eventually get transformed into an effort to promote healthy spending.
State Senator Mattie Hunter is a Chicago Democrat. Her proposal would charge a penny-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks that are sold in sealed containers. That would apparently exempt fountain drinks sold at gas stations and restaurants. Why? Are those drinks healthier than the ones that come in sealed containers?
In addition to hurting the economy and costing the state jobs it can't afford to lose, there's also the issue of putting additional pressure on the pocketbooks of low-and-middle class families:
Others say the tax would impose a burden on families trying to purchase groceries. "This tax adds $2.88 to a (24-pack) case of soda," said Mark Denzler, vice president of the Illinois Manufacturers Association. "It's nearly a 50 percent increase in the cost of it. So folks that are scrambling to buy groceries are going to have it even harder."
The non-partisan, non-profit Tax Foundation has a study out that says soft drink taxes are highly regressive and aren't even effective at doing what they're supposed to do: reducing obesity.
And besides, why should those who drink these beverages responsibly be punished for the poor choices made by others?
If you wish to let your State Rep. or State Senator know what you think, the legislation is Senate Bill 3524.