New Commentary on Soda “Fat Taxes”
July 14, 2006
We’ve posted a new commentary about a rising trend among state and local legislatures: proposed “obesity taxes” on carbonated soft drinks, aimed at slimming down the public’s waistline. The latest soda tax proposal comes City Councilman Bob Fitzgerald of the Denver suburb of Aurora, Colorado:
Soda Obesity Taxes: Taxing Ourselves to Health
Can we tax our way to a trim waistline?
Aurora, Colorado City Councilman Bob Fitzgerald thinks so. Comparing Coca-Cola to cigarettes, alcohol and other unhealthy vices, Fitzgerald unveiled a plan last month to pin a new soda “sin tax” on Aurora taxpayers.
“It’s a reminder and a constant reminder,” he told reporters, “that we need to, as a nation and as a city, develop healthy habits.”
That’s a noble sentiment. Surely we’d all be better off spending more time on the StairMaster and less in line at Taco Bell. But is Fitzgerald’s plan to use the tax code to lighten-up taxpayers’ wallets really a smart way to fight obesity?
For several reasons, it isn’t…