Taxpayers shouldn’t feel bubbly about taxing sugary beverages
No policymaker in good conscience should consider new sugary-drinks taxes after years of watching those taxes fizzle out across the country. Having taken the evidence into account, steps taken to make sure those mistakes don’t happen again – as legislators in Arizona are now doing – is the right course of action. Taxpayers would be lucky to see them never enacted again.
Sugary drink taxes are often implemented as a means to fight obesity and boost local budgets, but in reality, these taxes are remarkably regressive and an unreliable source of tax revenue. They add costs to vulnerable taxpayers, create complexity for businesses, and there’s no evidence that they lead to better health outcomes.