Soda Taxes

Soda Tax Proposal Falls Flat in Illinois



A little good news on the sin tax front for a change: A proposed "soda tax" in Illinois was rejected today, with members of the House Revenue and Finance Committee voting 7-2 against it.

The one penny per ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, syrups, and powders would have added an additional $2.88 in cost to each case and 67 cents to each two-liter bottle of soda sold in Illinois. Rep. John Bradley (D-Marion), who chairs the revenue committee, called it a "middle-class regressive tax" that "really hurts working people."

Rep. Robyn Gabel (D-Evanston), who sponsored the "Healthy Eating, Active Living Act," championed it with all of the usual platitudes: It would help fight the obesity epidemic, encourage healthy living, cut health care costs, prop up Medicaid, etc.

A study published in the journal Preventive Medicine in March found overall support for sugar-sweetened beverage taxes in the U.S. to be low, with only 22 percent of adults in favor. Democrats, millennials, and people with generally negative views of soda companies were more likely to support soda taxes. 

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  1. The HEAL Act? Really? I call it the Heel Act.

  2. Get your hands off of my Mountain Dew!!!!

  3. Rep. Robyn Gabel (D-Evanston), who sponsored the “Healthy Eating, Active Living Act,” championed it with all of the usual platitudes:

    It would get more money out of the hands of those pesky citizens and into government coffers where it could be used wisely?

  4. Democrats, millennials, and people with generally negative views of soda companies were more likely to support soda taxes.

    Too stupid to live. Too retarded to execute.

    1. Not anymore. See 2 posts below this one.

    2. It’s alright. They don’t vote anyway.

      1. But I thought video games turned them into libertarians?

        1. In my recent experience, student loan debt has turned them into Stalinists.

  5. people with generally negative views of soda companies

    Like, manufacturers of *pop*?

    1. *narrows gaze*

      Oh no, not again…

      1. Do you guys have Mellow Yellow in IL?

        Mountain Dew has no competition on the West Coast.

        1. We had Mellow Yellow in Ohio.

          1. That’s where I first had it. I don’t know what it isn’t everywhere.

        2. “They call me MISTER Pibb!”

      2. Like, circumcised manufacturers of deep-dish-pizza-flavored *pop*?

    2. “I’ll have a coke.”

      “What kind?”

      1. Exactly.

  6. Rep. John Bradley (D-Marion) = from someplace besides Planet Chicago

    Rep. Robyn Gabel (D-Evanston) = the primary Prog Moon of Planet Chicago

  7. Ask a left-wing shithead if the purpose of taxes is to generate revenue for the state or to control people’s behavior, and the answer is always “Yes”.

    1. “Well, those coffers aren’t going to fill themselves, you shiftless reprobate.”

  8. The alt-text is reaaally falling flat.

    1. Definitely running out of gas.

  9. Fun OT: Facebook’s entire database structure built on hobbyists database. Head scratching about how to scale up.…..han-death/

    According to database pioneer Michael Stonebraker, Facebook is operating a huge, complex MySQL implementation equivalent to “a fate worse than death,” and the only way out is “bite the bullet and rewrite everything.”

    Not that it’s necessarily Facebook’s fault, though. Stonebraker says the social network’s predicament is all too common among web startups that start small and grow to epic proportions.

    During an interview this week, Stonebraker explained to me that Facebook has split its MySQL database into 4,000 shards in order to handle the site’s massive data volume, and is running 9,000 instances of memcached in order to keep up with the number of transactions the database must serve. I’m checking with Facebook to verify the accuracy of those numbers, but Facebook’s history with MySQL is no mystery.

    1. Zuckerberg had no idea how to design his database to handle massive, unprecedented amounts of data? Color me surprised.

      1. Well the Winklevoss twins had no idea that that would be the case, therefore neither did Zuckerberg.

    2. So when people look at a PHP / MySQL site and say, “That’s not an enterprise solution!” they’re totally wrong.


      1. Everything is an enterprise solution. Some are just harder to make so.

      2. The word is that the code that holds Facebook together is pure spaghetti. That might just be haters hating, but I can totally see that a kid who whipped up some code to make a simple website didn’t put enterprise solutions in place. He wouldn’t even have the experience to in the first place.

        1. Again, everything is an enterprise solution, it’s just that some require way more bandaids, bailing wire and proprietary, clever solutions than others.

          Back in the day, the shit that we were able to achieve with flat, non-relation databases would probably get scoffed and dismissed as impossible.

          If I had a nickel for every enterprise that was running Access in ways that Access never should have been used, but somehow squeak through their day with it…

          The question isn’t ‘can you’, but ‘should you’.


  10. They bring this shit up every year, It is never going to go away. They are relentless.

  11. You know, I could swear they had some kind of canned drink tax in Chicago when I lived there in the 90s. I could be remembering this wrong, but I think it was something like that.

    1. They have it. This was proposed for the entire state.

      1. Being that long ago, I wonder if that was more about the evils of aluminum than the evils of sugar?

        1. I’m sure it was about someone’s cousin or brother-in-law being invested in plastics.

        2. Did that used to be an argument for taxing sodas?

          1. I have no idea why they did it, just the fact of it. They had some other weird taxes, too. I seem to remember some distinction being made between take-out and dine-in. And they taxed parking, I think. I mean on top of the fees they charged for it. It’s all a blur of horror.

            1. “It’s all a blur of horror.” Pretty much the Chicago tourism slogan.

              1. To be fair, it was a fun place to be a student, since I was mostly broke and didn’t have to worry much about taxes and the like. Free (one day a week) museums, the blues, etc. But I never ever ever wanted to actually live there.

                1. Almost all of my best friends live in Chicago, and I always have fun when I visit (which I do fairly frequently). But the weather is just too goddamn miserable for me, and having grown up in the midwest, Chicago still has too much of a midwestern feel for my taste.

          2. In the states that have the 5/10 cent deposit on certain bottles and cans, it was–if I recall correctly–initially designed to stop littering, and essentially promote aluminum reclamation as well. At least in Connecticut, it was only on carbonized beverages, and that was very specific in the law for it. But Maine has it on pretty much every beverage.

            The point is, the government gets free money for all the unclaimed deposits that go in the trash, and really, is there anything more important than the government stealing more of our money?

  12. No way the Koch brothers would allow a tax on sugary carbonated drinks.

    1. Obviously they stand to make billions from this. Somehow.

      1. They didn’t pay 80 million people in a dozen states to use their name as the generic term for soft drink for nothing.

        1. I get it. Koch = Coke.

          Also… corn syrup is not sugar. Still taxed?

  13. How dare the committee vote it down! After all, when government provides or subsidizes your health insurance, it has the right to make you change your unhealthy behaviors. So, submit, cattle.

  14. Ugh, that headline lacked the pop I’ve come to expect from ENB.

    1. I struggled here, I admit. Too many available puns to choose from.

      1. And no alt-text? Tie one on last night ENB?

  15. So would diet drinks or low calorie things like Dr. Pepper 10 have still been taxed at the same rate as these sugary drinks?

    Anyway, fuck Gabel in the eye with a hot, rusty poker. At least enough people had sufficient sense to kill this thing.

    1. Diet beverages weren’t included, but what is — things sweetened with sugar, “syrups and powders” — is pretty vague.

      1. (Maybe the powders bit is a nod to the original Coca-cola formulation? Amphetamine-sweetened sodas won’t escape this tax!)

        1. I would actually drink sodas if they had amphetamines. They’re missing out on a market there.

  16. 67 cents to each two-liter bottle of soda sold in Illinois

    That’s practically a 100% tax on the retail price of a 2-liter bottle that’s on sale. The tax was ridiculously out of proportion. Methinks a 0.1 Penny / Ounce tax would have passed. It’s not the nature of the tax they objected to. It was the size.

    Thus, liberty is still dead.

    1. Those sad 8oz coke cans should be left untaxed out of pity.

  17. Democrats, millennials, and people with generally negative views of soda companies in general were more likely to support soda taxes.

    That seems to fit the bill more nicely.

    1. Rev-Match|5.27.14 @ 5:49PM|#

      Democrats, millennials, and people with generally negative views of soda companies in general were more likely to support soda taxes.

      Game, set, match

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