Diary

Who's behind New York's proposed tax on soda?

Who’s behind the tax on soda? Who do you think is behind increased taxes?

From MediaPost:

New York Soda Tax Proposal Erupts Into Ad Battle
Ad Age, Wednesday, March 3, 2010, 10:36 AM
The Alliance for a Healthier New York is running ads urging New Yorkers to support a proposed sugar tax with the sentiment that “for just a few extra pennies we can reduce obesity, diabetes and heart disease and stop devastating health-care cuts in Albany,” Natalie Zmuda reports.

The American Beverage Association is countering with TV, print and radio ads that point out that the tax would be a burden on consumers. Some ads claims that the price of beverage products would go up by 50%; in a TV spot, the owner of a Bronx supermarket talks about how his customers are already on a budget and can’t afford an additional tax.

“The Alliance for a Healthier New York.” Who could be against a healthier New York?

Let’s look at the Supporters:

SEIU – 1199
SEIU/CIR

Lovely. Let’s look at where the tax money will go:

Isn’t this just a way to increase revenue for the state?
While revenue would be generated by the sugar-sweetened beverage tax and used for health related initiatives, the measure is designed to do both–decrease consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, just as the cigarette tax is levied to decrease tobacco use — and improve health, as well as provide needed revenue. Revenue generated from this tax will go to the New York State Health Care Reform Act (HCRA) Resources Fund to be used for health care and health related initiatives.

The SEIU is endorsing a tax that will collect money for the New York State Health Care Reform Act Resources Fund. Let’s look at that law:

Moneys in the health care reform act resources fund shall be kept separate from and shall not be commingled with any other moneys in the joint or sole custody of the comptroller and the department of health.

An SEIU slush fund! Bankrupt New York can’t use the “soda tax” money for anything else, like, oh, to pay down its debt or to lower taxes. Of course not.

From Crain’s New York Business on March 2nd:

This year, the governor is threatening to cut specific funding lines in health care if the drink tax does not pass. That has mobilized institutions that would be hurt by those cuts to support the tax. Legislators, though, could decouple the drink tax and the health spending cuts.

This tax has nothing to do with obesity. It’s all about hiring more unionized government workers. Its union (SEIU) will then continue to buy its legislators.

New York State has been described as having the must dysfunctional legislature in the country, but that’s not true. It functions. It just functions for the municipal unions and against the taxpayers.

Once the “soda tax,” is enacted, keep in mind that it will never go away, and that it will be increased in both amount and scope (the universal law of all taxes).

If New York State really wanted to fight obesity, it would cut its tax rates and encourage business. People who have a job are generally thinner than those who don’t.