Beverage tax supporters often oversell the impact of these fundamentally-flawed policies. The Tax Foundation is pointing out the goals of tax proponents - to both raise revenue and reduce consumption - are mutually exclusive. However, tax proponents often argue the opposite.
“The problem with this approach is that supporters are essentially advocating using a declining revenue source (from reduced consumption) to fund an important public service,” says Morgan Scarboro of the Tax Foundation.
This is not a reliable way to generate the revenue needed to sustain programs – which mean politicians will end up going back to the well and raising more taxes.
And if the goal is to reduce obesity, there is a better way. By working together in communities across the country, and with public health organizations, America’s beverage companies have been reducing the sugar and calories consumed from beverages. And with our Balance Calories Initiative, we are accelerating these efforts through increased options with less or no sugar at all and encouragement to find balance.
In order to change behavior and have a lasting impact, regressive beverage taxes are not a silver bullet solution.