March 15, 2011

Drink Soda? Texas Dem Wants To Tax You More Than Beer Drinkers

The tax on a 12 ounce can of beer is 1.82 cents, due to the fact that Texas imposes a tax of 19.4 cents per gallon on beer. But if Democrat Rep. Eddio Lucio gets his way, it will be soda drinkers who take it in the neck -- and wallet.

Picking up a six-pack of soft drinks could soon cost Texans more.

A penny per ounce more, to be exact.

State Sen. Eddie Lucio, D-Brownsville, is proposing increasing the taxes on sodas -- both regular and diet, and energy drinks too -- to raise money for the state and cut down on obesity in children and adults.

That means a typical 12-ounce Diet Dr Pepper could cost 12 cents more at a grocery or convenience store. A six-pack of Coke would cost an extra 72 cents. And a 24-count box of Big Red would cost an extra $2.88.

"There are solutions to the budget mess we find ourselves in which do not involve making drastic cuts to vital services," Lucio said. "The Texas Legislature should be exploring these solutions."

As state lawmakers face a multibillion-dollar shortfall -- and making cuts to education and social services to balance the budget -- Lucio said his proposal could raise an extra $4 billion every two years.

Now let's think about that -- an extra penny an ounce for soda. But raising taxes on alcohol? Not for Lucio -- despite the fact that the tax on beer is only .15 cents per ounce, the tax on liquor is under 2 cents per ounce, and wine comes in at about 8 cents a bottle (for a much larger bottle, I might add). And that despite the fact that the health impact of alcohol on health and safety in Texas is significantly greater than that of soda pop. Oh, and by the way -- Lucio's rationale falls flat when one considers that his tax extends to beverages sweetened with artificial sweeteners -- so when I make a healthy choice by drinking diet soda as a part of my effort to control my blood sugar, I'm still going to get hit by the tax designed to control obesity despite my soft drink having ZERO CALORIES.

No, what Eddie Lucio wants is to tax Texans more -- and do so without interfering with the business of the beer and wine distributors who keep giving him campaign cash. After all, if Lucio is sincerely making proposals to increase revenue, why doesn't he look to increase the "sin tax" on an industry that has not seen an increase in its tax rate since 1984? Do we just need to follow the money?

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Comments on Drink Soda? Texas Dem Wants To Tax You More Than Beer Drinkers

It will probably end global warming and cure cancer too.

Lets be real. If anyone honestly believed this would "cure" obesity then they would allow skinny people to be exempt. In fact the underweight should have their soda's subsidized by taxpayers to help them get to a more healthy weight.

If lawmakers were serious about curing obesity they would not allow obese people to reproduce. Obesity is mostly genetic, you get it from your parents not from your soft drinks.

|| Posted by GoneWithTheWind, March 15, 2011 02:25 PM ||
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