Beverage taxes are unpopular because they raise prices dramatically on common grocery items, with the largest share of the tax burden falling on families least capable of paying it. Not only do they disproportionately hurt working families and small businesses, they simply do not make anyone healthier. In a recent Washington Examiner opinion piece, author Guy Bentley hits the nail on the head.
"The bottom line is that soda taxes don't work by the very measures their proponents set for them," said Bentley, who is a contributor to the Washington Examiner's Beltway Confidential blog.
Obesity rates increased for years while at the same time soda consumption decreased. If soda consumption is really driving obesity, then obesity rates should have gone down.
On top of that, beverage taxes fail to live up to their financial promises. They are an unreliable and unsustainable source of revenue and often fall short of projected collection.
"It's always a dangerous game to use a high tax on a narrow category of products to fund public services. More often than not, this reckless fiscal approach results in the need for even higher taxes when revenue projections disappoint and result in cuts to services," said Bentley.
America's leading beverage companies believe there is a better way to meet budget priorities or help people reduce the amount of sugar they get from beverages. Beverage companies are working with public health groups and community leaders to help educate and encourage consumers to think about balance when choosing a beverage.
Learn more at www.balanceus.org