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Essay On Soda Tax

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On October 11th, 2016 Cook County, which includes the city of Chicago passed a one cent per ounce soda tax. Due to a lawsuit by the Illinois Merchant Association the new law did not even come into effect until August 2nd 2017. Now, due to a repeal, the law will cease to be in effect by December 1st, giving this law an effective life of about four months. The tax seems a no brainer with about 25% of United States boys and girls suffering from obesity. However the law had two major shortcomings. First, it had a bad start due to a poor implementation of the tax, since the tax was originally levied on producers instead of at the point of sale. This caused what is known as a double tax situation, soda companies were being charged two taxes in…show more content…
A deadweight loss from a market of over five million people would have had major implications for US soda distributors. Deadweight loss is without a doubt bad for soda produces in this situation, but perhaps what made the tax unpopular with residents is related to a concept called the benefits principle. The benefits principle is, people should pay taxes based on the benefits they receive from government services. In Cook County the tax was established for the purpose of filling a 1.8 billion dollar hole in the budget. With no quantifiable benefit to the community, it is understandable that people were opposed to paying a new fee when they buy sweetened soft drinks. In Philadelphia on the other hand proceeds go directly into an educational fund which helps pay for pre-kindergarten and community schools. So the residents of Philadelphia see a real, quantifiable benefit of the extra fee for the soda, which they buy and any attempts to repeal the Philadelphia soda tax would likely be met with fierce opposition from families.

I honestly believe Cook County should have a soda tax. It is a very poor County given the population desity. Poor physical health is very common in low-income communities.(Four Ways That Poverty Hurts Americans' Long-Term Health.) Given this, an incentive to not buy soda in a County such as Cook seems to make a lot of sense. In my opinion the country should
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