Federal consumer safety regulators may make the holiday season less festive for homeowners this year, as a wave of new product safety rules take effect.
Taking effect in December, rules issued by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) will ban the sale of some types of decorative holiday lights, in hopes of reducing holidays lights' lethality.
The new regulations, proposed in October, aim to classify “seasonal and decorative lighting products” with wire gauges smaller than 0.8 millimeters as “substantial product hazards,” citing a fatality rate of just over one death per year associated with holiday lighting as justification.
To compare, actuarial risk estimates suggest that near-Earth-objects (NEOs) colliding with the planet are—on a long-term average—about 3.43 times more likely to kill an individual than Christmas lights.
Decorations such as “lighted decorative outfits, such as stars, wreathes, candles without shades, light sculptures, blow-molded plastic figures, and...
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...
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...