Illinois Soda Tax Proposal on the Move in Springfield
A proposal to tax some beverages is once again being discussed in Springfield. If it passes, the price of many beverages could go up as much as 72%.
Regressive taxes like these affect the price of juices, energy drinks, soft drinks, bottled teas and more. What’s worse is that they don’t make Illinoisans healthier, but they do increase the cost of living via higher prices at the grocery store. This type of tax also stands to hurt small businesses that are already struggling to stay afloat.
Similar tax proposals have been defeated by voters and legislatures in California, Colorado, Washington, New York, Pennsylvania and Maine. That’s because Americans don’t need the government telling them what they should or should not be buying for their families.
And where these kinds of taxes have been tried, they’ve failed to deliver results. Illinois should learn from the examples set by West Virginia and Arkansas: It’s not possible for a government to tax its citizens to health.
Make no mistake—obesity is a serious and complex issue. However, it is misleading to suggest that specific drinks are uniquely responsible for weight gain. Calories from all foods count. In fact, only four percent of calories in the average American diet are derived directly from soda.
It’s time for politicians in Springfield to focus on real matters of concern to Illinoisans – like creating job opportunities – rather than counting our calories and recycling failed tax proposals.