The evidence that beverage taxes are regressive and do little to improve obesity rates is overwhelming. In a recent piece for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Michelle Minton explains why a tax on a common grocery item like beverages do more harm than good.
“The poorest in our communities often bear the financial brunt of these regressive taxes, which are ineffective at combating obesity,” writes Minton.
Besides being regressive, Minton also notes that taxes don’t make people healthier. Minton highlights a 2010 study published in Contemporary Economic Policy which found that “we should expect only modest changes in population weight through soft drink consumption responses to small tax increases.”
“Experience shows they disadvantage those least able to absorb the cost, without measurably improving public health. It is time to discontinue this failed experiment,” concludes Minton.
The facts are clear – beverage taxes are harmful and don’t improve public health. Instead of pushing a policy that will raise bills on families, policymakers should think about who is really paying the price of the tax. To learn more about why taxes do not work visit The Truth About Beverage Taxes.