State and local governments depend on many different types of taxes, one of which is known as an excise tax. Like general sales taxes, excise taxes are paid on the purchase of an item. But unlike sales taxes, excise...
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- Must-Watch Video for Mayor Bloomberg: The Nanny Tax Rap
Must-Watch Video for Mayor Bloomberg: The Nanny Tax Rap
This week New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that the city was going to ban the sale of sodas in containers larger than sixteen ounces as a way to combat obesity. Experts in the field interviewed by NPR, however, quickly cast doubt on the idea that such a policy would actually help reduce obesity or obesity-related health problems.
While this latest policy is a ban rather than a tax, it's similar to many proposals across the country which would increase taxes on soda, candy, snack foods, and any other category of food or drink that has been tagged as contributing to obesity. As Tax Foundation economist Scott Drenkard wrote last year, there are a number of practical problems with these taxes, not the least of which being that consumers will often substitute other high-calorie beverages or foods, which can have the effect of actually increasing total calorie consumption.
With that in mind, we'd like to suggest that His Honor the Mayor take a look at our Nanny Tax Rap video, to understand the consequences of implementing ever more discriminatory taxes on disfavored products.
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The Tax Policy Blog is the official blog of the Tax Foundation, a non-partisan, non-profit research organization that has monitored tax policy at the federal, state and local levels since 1937. Our economists welcome your feedback. If you would like to send an e-mail to the author of a blog post, please click on that person's name to locate his or her e-mail address or visit our staff page here.