In the last few years some lawmakers have latched onto the idea of beverage taxes as a way to fill budget shortfalls. Illinoisans and local business are among the latest to face the threat.
As we’ve said before, beverage taxes are a bad idea and the public knows it. First off, the tax is highly regressive. The poor and middle class pay a much higher share of their income on the tax than do high-income households. The tax takes a deep bite out of the money families can spend on groceries.
The tax also hurts Illinois’s small businesses that depend on beverage sales for a good part of their livelihoods. That threatens corner stores and local grocery stores and the hard-working people whose jobs depend on beverage sales.
"I guarantee that if you pass this tax we will lose employees and we'll also lose facilities," Bill Fleischli of the Illinois Association of Convenience Stores told Fox.
"We [convenient stores] employ 90,000 people in the state of Illinois and some of those are going to be reduced if this passes," said Fleischli.
Instead of pursuing a tax that raises prices on families and hurts jobs, policymakers should think about who is really paying the price.
To find out more about how taxes harm local businesses and consumers, check out The Truth About Beverage Taxes.