In November, voters in San Francisco rejected a proposal to add taxes on sugary beverages sold within the city—a “sin tax” with the stated goal of reducing consumption of such products by collecting revenue from people’s consumption of soda and other beverages.
If enacted, the tax would have imposed a $0.24 excise tax on soft drinks, increasing government revenue by an estimated $31 million per year.
Public Health Nudges
Sin taxes levied on soft drinks, according to Jacob Sullum, award-winning journalist and senior editor at Reason magazine, are “intended to discourage consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages by making them more expensive.”
“The hope is that less soda drinking will translate into fewer total calories consumed,” he explained, “which will reduce obesity and the health problems associated with it.”
Thirty-five states or districts have levied statewide sin taxes against soft drinks, at an average rate of 5.17 percent. In twenty of those states, vice taxes on soft drink...
Although a bill aimed at relieving homeowners’ tax burdens died without receiving a full hearing, potential support for property tax reform in the Pennsylvania has grown, due to the results of the November elections.
Twenty new incoming state representatives have not indicated opposition to a comprehensive reforms of the state’s tax structure, nicknamed the “the Property Tax Independence Act (PTIA),” suggesting that a future attempt at the bill will be more successful.
PTIA was approved by the...
Scholars from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University searched through numerous public spending databases for evidence of wasteful “use it or lose” spending by government agencies.
As described in Missouri State Auditor Thomas Schweich’s 2012 examination of state spending practices, government officials often have “a concern that lapsing funds would result in future agency budget cuts,” as budget rules—at both the state and federal level—often prevent most agencies’ unused balances from...