4-3-15 – Soda Tax: The Camel’s Nose Under the Tent

By Rob Roper

The healthcare bill making it’s way through the House has fixed on new taxes, including 1¢ per 2 oz. tax on sweetened beverages, sugar sweetened and diet, excluding dairy products like chocolate milk, or beverages sweetened with added maple syrup), subjecting dietary supplements to the 6% sales tax, and an increase in tobacco taxes.

Two lessons here:

One, this has nothing to do with any genuine concern about health and the obesity epidemic. It’s a money grab pure and simple. If the proponents of the bill were really worried about our waistlines, there would be no exceptions for maple and dairy products, nor would diet soda be part of the mix.

Two, this is just the just the beginning. It’s apropos that the creation of the beverage tax is coupled with yet another tax increase on tobacco products. It was just last July that the state raised the tobacco tax in what seems to have become an annual ritual. (See Shayne Spence’s Post on the history of the tobacco tax in VermoUnknown-2nt.) We can certainly expect the same trend to take hold with this new soda tax if it should ultimately pass.

Half a cent per ounce this year… a penny per ounce next year… two cents per ounce the year after that.

Hope? It was another beverage tax in 1773 that finally got the grassroots riled up enough to demand change. Maybe history will repeat itself.


 

Make your voice heard! Take the EAI BEVERAGE TAX SURVEY. Click HERE

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Paul Beane April 4, 2015 at 4:02 pm

They are NOT worried about our health, their only looking to get more money to spend.

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John April 4, 2015 at 7:38 pm

More money to spend you got that right. They raided the transportation fund, retirement funds they short changed. They tried to raid the unemployment fund but luckily federal laws stopped them. All they want is money to create a social utopia that will forever vote them back in office.

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linguini April 4, 2015 at 9:39 pm

The legislators in Montpeculiar have never seen a new tax that they didn’t like!! Just driving more people to NH. Shame on them, time to replace all of them next election cycle!!!

Reply

H. Brooke Paige April 5, 2015 at 10:34 pm

Rob,

Beyond an escalating “sugary beverage” tax the perceived success, when sales decline*, will lead to additional products believed to be unhealthy by the Food Nazis will expand and extend to a wide landscape of snacks, candies and treats (including Ice cream). Remember that ALL fast food and restaurant selections (including take-out) are already subject to the 9% meals tax with “sugary” fountain beverages now doubled taxed by the 2 cent (or whatever) tax per ounce PLUS the 9%.

The thin veil of fainted concern over obesity is betrayed with the inclusion of diet beverages and nutritional supplements in all this theater. The States “thirst” for cash and their inability to but the budgetary process is proof positive that the Governor and the Legislature are addicted to spending and the only “fix” they can find is to reach into the wallets and purses of their fellow Vermonters and attempt to “bleed us all dry.”

Fortunately, they all are subjected to the scrutiny of the voters and the ballot box every two years and their false claims of having heard the voters calls for moderation in 2014 will be revisited in 2016.

This is the Shumlin’s Socialist way in the “Land of Endless Taxes ! ”

*- the perceived decline will in reality be the change in shopping habits of our citizens as they begin to buy these products in NH, MA or NY to avoid being “shaken down” by the tax terrorists at the Dept. of Revenue. No real change in consumption will have occurred – however one will be announced and touted to justify pressing on for similar tax treatment of other “offending” consumables.

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guy flatley April 6, 2015 at 4:16 pm

SAD TO SEE OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS TRYING SO HARD TO TAX THE GOOD PEOPLE OF VERMONT MORE, HOW ABOUT TRYING NOT TO GIVE SO MUCH OF OUR TAXES TO WELFARE , AND PROGRAMS THAT WASTE THE TAX MONEY , A SODA TAX TO STOP OBESITY, YOUR ALL A JOKE , HOW ABOUT TAXING YOUR INCOME MORE .

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Deb Billado April 6, 2015 at 7:53 pm

We MUST change the leadership and control of the house and Senate in 2016. It’s a no brainer…if there is not a balance of power in Montpelier there will forever be out of control spending and misleading legislation. Vermont is on the edge of implosion and the good people on both sides of the aisle need to get out and vote for more conservative voices to offset the far left voices now running the state.

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