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Free Minds & Free Markets

State Legislatures and City Governments Are Going to Battle Over Food Taxes

Will Philly soda tax win cause local food taxes to “bubble up,” or could it spur still more states to squash local food taxes?

RICHARD B. LEVINE/NewscomRICHARD B. LEVINE/NewscomThe battle over local food and beverage taxes is heating up again.

Last week, Pennsylvania's highest court upheld the legality of Philadelphia's soda tax after a court challenge. Some believe the win by Philadelphia could embolden other cities in the state and around the country to pass new taxes.

But hold on.

Last month, California (California!) became the latest state to prohibit local governments from imposing new food or beverage taxes. While the law allows existing municipal taxes to stand, including a handful of soda taxes, the terms of the law mean that no city may adopt new food or beverage taxes until at least 2031. Arizona adopted a similar law earlier this year. Michigan did the same last year.

The push to eliminate local food and drink taxes are bubbling up thanks to consumers, the beverage industry, grocers, unions, and small businesses that are most impacted by these local taxes.

Back in 2013, in the wake of Mississippi adopting what state lawmakers referred to as their "anti-Bloomberg bill," I wrote about the growth of state laws that preempt local food taxes.

The "Bloomberg" referenced by state lawmakers was none other than then-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who was seen by many, including me, as the nation's leading elected food scold. In addition to his administration's famed ban on the sale of many subjectively large sodas in the city, Bloomberg pushed during his time in office to restrict new tavern licenses, ban happy hours, ban food donations to homeless shelters, limit restaurants' use of salt, and ban trans fats.

"That law, passed earlier this year, is by my estimate the seventh in the country to bar local governments from banning or otherwise restricting consumer food choices in restaurants and groceries," I wrote of Mississippi's anti-Bloomberg law. "The Mississippi measure also prohibits local governments from 'designat[ing] food as healthy or unhealthy,' offering a key bulwark against further potential government interference in the food choices of the state's residents."

Even as more cities around the country may attempt to adopt food and beverage taxes of their own, more states may put the brakes on such efforts.

In November, for example, Oregon voters will decide whether to preempt local food taxes in that state. In Washington State, where I live, state lawmakers, consumers, and business interests have responded to Seattle's recently adopted soda tax by pushing a ballot measure, Initiative 1634, that would preempt local governments from adopting food or beverage taxes but which would, like the California law, leave existing food taxes in place.

And in Pennsylvania, where, again, the state's highest court just upheld Philadelphia's soda tax, flagging efforts in the state legislature are seeking to preempt local food taxes. The state's preemption bill, which was tabled last month, could, if revived, override the Philadelphia tax and prevent other cities in the state from adopting new food or beverage taxes.

Some critics have lashed out at efforts to preempt local laws.

"There's a fear that as California goes, so goes the nation," said Sabrina Adler, a senior staff attorney at ChangeLab Solutions, a public-health lobby, in comments published last month by the Washington Post. "This could be the beginning of further preemption in other states."

Ninety-nine times out of 100, I share that fear. But I hope this move by California and a dozen or so other states to limit the tax burden their cities places on food consumers and business truly catches on nationwide.

Photo Credit: RICHARD B. LEVINE/Newscom

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  • Longtobefree||

    So how do we flow, libertarians?
    The US constitution is pretty quiet on local governments, and does directly give to states non-federal powers.
    Yet we prefer local to state, state to federal and all that.
    And then there is the horrible 'unfairness' of taxing any foods.
    State prohibition of local taxes; good or bad?

  • DaveSs||

    As taxation is theft, prohibiting locals from taxing something is good.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    States preempt county and city ordinances, so the states would have to enact laws prohibiting local jurisdictions from enacting these kind of restrictive laws. A few state preemption laws to prevent local governments from going crazy with a bunch of petty rules.

    As Libertarians, we should not allow local governments to stifle business with bans on straws and personal liberty.

    Normally local laws are few and dont affect persons outside the tiny jurisdictions. Lefties are using their only power base (Mega Cities) as a platform to get Socialists whipped up down into stifling what could be the free country of America again.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    As Libertarians, we should not allow local governments to stifle business with bans on straws and personal liberty.

    But it's perfectly ok for the federal government to stifle business with tariffs and personal liberty to trade, eh?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    We're talking about states but okay I will bite.

    The managed trade that we had before Trump was set up by the federal government as per the authority enumerated in the US Constitution.

    Trump is trying to reduce/end those trade restrictions that were setup before him.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    Correct me if I'm misinterpreting you, but you're placing the US Constitution above libertarianism here?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    US Libertarianism is currently dependent on the US Constitution as there are no other nations that respect all the rights that the US Constitution does and allow Libertarianism to flourish.

    Libertarianism is basically Classical Liberalism.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    US Libertarianism is currently dependent on the US Constitution

    No. They're not the same thing and they're not always in agreement. There have been volumes upon volume written about this. And even a recent Reason article.

    Also, the Constitution changed (and continues to change). Libertarianism does not. Libertarianism is dependent on the NAP not the constitution.

    So I think your response confirms what I thought: you're a constitutionalist, not a libertarian. Which is fine, but you might find more in common with the Constitution Party than with the Libertarian Party. Then you'll be a kinder and happier person instead of having to live with this constant cognitive dissonance. HTH

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Yes... Reason is not Libertarian based on its many articles that blatantly exposure the hatred for Libertarianism.

    Libertarianism does not really change but the LP does. Libertarianism is based on property rights, NAP, maximum freedom under limited government rule of law....

    The constituion Party is made up up religious people who hide behind the Constitution.

    Libertarianism is not anarchy, so the Constitution is a great way to protect Libertopia.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    The constitution marked the death of a libertarian movement. The libertarians LOST to the constitutionalists, and the constitution was born as a result. The constitutionalists frequently criticized the concept of liberty, often noted that establishing a grand state that protected its citizens was superior to liberty. They advocated for a strong federal government that usurped states' rights, even when the libertarians objected. They even went so far as to diagnose the "extreme" passion for liberty as a "mental disorder". The framers of the constitution were no friends to libertarianism.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    You hate Libertarianism and the Constitution. What do you care?

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Trump is NOT trying to reduce government interference. He is trying to replace one form of government interference with another.

    Why a so-called libertarian would endorse such behavior with such passion is beyond me, when the alternative of simply unilaterally elimanating tariffs is a proven winning behavior.

  • Echospinner||

    But what would be the fun of that?

    Take Canada and Mexico. Both have been perfectly willing to renegotiate NAFTA and had already gotten started on it. They will still do that and we will end up with some new arrangement.

    That would have happened anyway but now Trump can walk back the tarrifs and say HE did it.

    Trump is a classic playground bully. It is not enough to give me your lunch money. I need to push you around first to show the other kids how tough I am. All of which is grounded in a profound sense of insecurity but that is another topic.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    But it didnt happen with NAFTA. As you people are famous for saying. Actions speak louder than words.

    The action is they Trump got the EU to crack in less than 5 weeks.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The fact that you as a nonLibertarian tells us that Trump is rolling back the state. You hate him for that.

    He offered ending all trade restrictions if our trading partners ended their trade restrictions. They declined. He offered free trade and they declined.

    Free trade is pretty Libertarian.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    There are some borders that progressives believe in. They are the borders separating American municipalities they control from American municipalities they don't control.

  • Rossami||

    "Yet we prefer local to state, state to federal"

    Objection: Assumes facts not in evidence.

    The only advantage to more local government is that when it inevitably goes bad, the damage is more limited. That does not make everything a local government does good nor does it make everything a higher government does bad.

    In this case, a state preemption of unquestionably bad local laws is good. It is nothing more than a smaller version of the protections enumerated in the Constitution which, for example, preempt not only federal statutes infringing speech but also preempt bad state and local statutes.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    The only advantage to more local government is that when it inevitably goes bad, the damage is more limited.

    I wonder if there's more to it than that. The anti-federalists, for example, argued that there are intrinsic advantages of local control based on moral equivalency, choice, etc. They argued that in a federated republic (local policy control, freedom of movement) people could vote with their feet, moving to regions of the country that best fit the political conditions they favored. They also argued that this would prevent local governments from going too out of control because people would leave places that became too authoritarian, which would serve as a natural check on government power.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Yes, but the Democrats fought tooth and nail to defend local control during the civil war.

  • Rossami||

    Foot-voting is one mechanism by which the damage is controlled.

    However, foot-voting is no panacea. In particular, it fails when jurisdiction-specific resources are in play. Consider, for example, a town with much better than average weather. Others see that beautiful climate and flock to it. Political leaders who are often the original residents, resent the crowding and institute authoritarian controls. Residents desiring liberty leave. The political leaders are rewarded with everything they originally sought - more power and few people to share the original resources. Foot-voting only matters when political leaders care about competing for constituents and fails when those leaders care instead about controlling resources.

    Foot-voting also fails when local governments collude, whether intentionally through adherence to major political party platforms or unintentionally when they all bow to the same lobbying. Where do you go, for example, when every city council buys into this stupid straw ban? We can't all fit in the one little rural township that hasn't implemented the ban yet.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    Well stated.

    Having an asshole Republican for a dad, or some intrusive progressive control-freak mom, is bad. Having asshole Republicans and intrusive control-freaks who aren't our parents in charge of the petty minutia of our lives is even worse.

    Perhaps we can transition to a society that considers grown adults capable of handling their own affairs without parental-ish control? Nah, that's probably just crazy talk. OBEY. CONSUME. SOMETHING SOMETHING BUBBLE GUM.

  • Jerryskids||

    It's not an issue of "federalism" at the state level, states are sovereign just as the national government is sovereign, counties and cities are political subdivisions of the state created by the state and have no powers other than what the state grants them. So there's nothing inherently wrong with state governments ordering subordinate governments around, they're the boss.

    That being said, I'd prefer local autonomy, if the cities want to do stupid shit, let 'em. But the state shouldn't be bailing them out when the place goes to hell, which they will. Is that a moral hazard, that cities are going to do stupid shit and we're all going to pay for it? Yes, yes it is - but the state bailing out the failing city is just an example of how the state is just as apt to do stupid shit as the locals and we're all going to pay for that, too. The state is hardly in any position to lecture the cities about not doing stupid shit like passing bad laws. Just that when the city does stupid shit, it's easier to escape to the suburbs or maybe another city, when the state does it it's harder to move to another state.

    Plus, local government is easier to see and get in touch with and control - if you see your neighbors start electing assholes you've got an early warning that maybe it's time to find a place with fewer assholes. And if you actually voluntarily move to a place like San Francisco which you already know is asshole central, don't come whining to me about how bad the place is.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Yeah, I agree with Jerryskids here. Stop putting nannies on City Council and you won't have to worry about getting constently fleeced. That said, the fate of larger cities impacts far beyond their boundaries

    .

  • sharmota4zeb||

    a place like San Francisco which you already know is asshole central

    'Nuff said.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    As always, go back to the premise of voluntarism.

    Local governments shouldn't coerce its residents into doing something that they don't want, but at the same time, state governments shouldn't prohibit local governments from doing something that their residents *do* want.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Anarchy sucks.

    Limited government under the US and state Constitutions should be enforced by The People.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    Then why not just have The People enforce anarchy?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    According to anarchists like sarcasmic, anarchists should not be using state force except for defense. So no using government force to enforce societal customs.

    Thats cool that anarchism is about volunteerism. Anarchy is just not the same thing as Libertarianism.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    According to anarchists like sarcasmic...

    NAP indicates folks get to pick their own labels, as opposed to having labels thrust upon them.

    Backfire effect indicates our brains will twist any way they can to make people fit the labels which define them as two-dimensional cardboard boogeymen to whom we needn't pay any mind. I mean, hey, everyone knows what those people are like, so now we get to mentally check out and shout slogans in response. Political slogans are like kryptonite to cardboard boogeymen. This is known. *rolls eyes forever*

    Man, it's be that cool if you could hear this, and yet I'm pretty sure it's just going to come across as a some sort of anthropological monkey challenge, and the expected response is hooting and chest-beating and displays of primate aggression and... fucking hell, this place used to be difficult. Specifically because slogans and emotional arguments would get a bloke tore up from the floor up. No mercy. Logic this shit out, or face the wrath of dozens of bored and highly sarcastic intellectual individuals who had run out of patience for some WaPo bullshit.

    I know it won't mean shit-all to you, LC, and yet - motherfucker, I respected you as a worthy foeman, and to come back and see this "MAGA!!" "Anarchist!" crap gives me a great big sad.

    It used to be difficult to back you into a corner. You worked for your logic, your arguments. You are way too smart for this easy out.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    You know, never mind, dude. Whatever floats your little red wagon. Just know that Sarcasmic has been here for, like, ever, and no one who has talked to him for years and years is going to suddenly think of him as an anarchist, despite his years of posting history and self-identity, just because you call him a specific label all the time, and any rookies who fall for that crap deserve what they get.

    Never mind. As you were. Wring it down to the last drop, if you've a mind. If you're right, you'll be applauded as visionary, and if you're morphing yourself into an updated version of an Obamabot then you'll reap that instead. Free markets are lovely things in that manner. TANSTAAFL - ever.

    On a completely unrelated note, since you're in ag, has the weather been crazycakes for y'all? Because it had for us. Abnormal AF.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Funny that YOU come in to defend Sarcasmic the anarchist in 2 posts of ramblings.

    Sarcasmic is a Mini-Anarchist which is anarchist.

    I think its funny that non-Libertarians hate hate hate to be labeled- their particular flavor.

    Libertarians are fine with being called Libertarians. It seems like Republicans are fine being called Republicans.

  • DiegoF||

    Local governments are not voluntarist entities; they are coercive ones. How exactly can a city (or "its people") be said to "want" something? The largest unit of humanity that possesses a desire or will is the individual.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Well, local governments can in theory anyway express the will of the people better than larger governmental units.

    In terms of the number of people coerced against, if a referendum passes in a town of 100 with a vote of 51% to 49%, that is preferable than if a referendum passed in a nation of 100 million with a vote of 99% to 1%. In the former case, 49 people are subject to the tyranny of the majority, while in th elatter case, 1 million people are.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    Many years ago I asked Eli Israel (then on the campaign trail with Carla Howell running for senate on behalf of the LP) why he favored a Massachusetts ballot question that allowed the state to pick and choose which charities could be written off on people's taxes. Many feared this ballot question would lead to battles between religious groups who got passed over, etc. His response (paraphrasing) was: because lower taxes are better than higher taxes, even if not uniformly applied.

    So I think the same holds true here. Even though libertarianism clearly favors local policy over central planning, prohibitions on local taxation will always be viewed as a good thing. But definitely a very debatable topic for libertarians.

  • Robert||

    The only reason that last one's a debatable topic is the unfortunate effect of politics: that one tends to substitute the one you brought to the dance for the one you really wanted to, in your mind. S/he becomes the goal, the original goal seeming no longer to be one. So for instance the Libertarian Party and its partisans get substituted for libertarian policy, decentraliz'n for liberty, whatever hobby horse the HyR bloggers are on for libertarianism, etc. You sometimes wind up saying freedom is slavery or whatever.

    Sure, libertarianism favors any kind of policy over central planning, but that's not the same as favoring just any kind over central gov't. Neat switch there.

  • Robert||

    So for instance I think Trump's still on track to be the best POTUS of my 64-yr. life. But just because I'm impelled to defend him vs. evil attacks doesn't mean I have to take his policy side on everything he does, let alone says!

  • Rich||

    The push to eliminate local food and drink taxes are bubbling up

    The push *IS* bubbling up, DAMN IT!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    County and City ordinances are preempted by state law, so its just time for states to put the brakes on with Lefties enacting a bunch of business killing local laws.

    It is kind of funny that Lefties are so desperate and so without power nationally that they have resorted to enacting local laws in a fury.

    Lefties are like little kids in a playpen trying to enacted rules on their stuft animals.

  • Agammamon||

    They're just doing what Trump is doing.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Trump and conservatives have all the power. Trump is literally Hitler, ammirite?

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Yeah, and they expect to win the next election by beating up on their neighbors in the few municipalities where people sort of put up with them. Meanwhile, rents in New York City are dropping. In my opinion the inability to deduct local real estate taxes on the federal tax form caused real estate owners to value their homes less. Combine that with De Blasio's willingness to expand the construction boom into the outer boroughs and fewer illegal immigrants crowding into sanctuary cities, and we have a solution to the rents being too high. Will New Yorkers vote against the party controlling the feds with jobs up and rents down?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Yes, by all means, other cities, be more like Filthacrapia. See what it gets you.

  • DiegoF||

    A Super Bowl championship?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    "A" championship. Single. Why bother?

  • DiegoF||

    There's only one championship. The others are ex-championships.

  • Cy||

    "The others are ex-championships."

    That's not how that works...

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    More beer, less soda. I'm against the soda tax, but this result isn't all that unappealing...

  • DiegoF||

    Good news for you age-of-consent abolitionists: the Philly tax does not cover Zima, wine coolers, or Mike's Hard Lemonade.

  • DiegoF||

    *"all you age-of-consent abolitionists." Wasn't suggesting you yourself was one, JunkScience!

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Is abolitionists a bad term for people who want to eliminate government schools? Kids don't get paid for the work they do there. Experts say that working there does the kids good. Police force the kids to return there if they escape. A government school is basically a mild plantation were the plantation owners throw out the product of the kids' labor because they get paid to grade it and hand it back instead of getting paid to sell it.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    I remember waaaaay back when I was a kid, the California legislature was arguing over the difference between food and snacks, because they wanted more taxes, natch, but didn't want to be seen as heartless. When you bought peanut butter (or cheese) and crackers from a vending machine, it was a snack if it came already made into cracker sandwiches. But if it came with the little lump of plastic and peanut butter (or cheese) in a little well and you had to spread it yourself, well, that was food.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    That was the time to nip that in the bud.

    The Nanny and Police State that we now have did not happen overnight. Incremental over-regulation.

  • Agammamon||

    Same shit everywhere nowadays.

    I help run a convenience store and restaurant that are owned by the same guy and connected to each other. If you buy a pizza from the restaurant you can't use EBT since its a 'prepared food'.

    *However*, you can walk 20 feet over, buy a freshly prepared *cold* pizza from the convenience store on EBT (since its not a prepared food in this form), take it back to the restaurant and they'll heat it up for you gratis.

  • perlchpr||

    And so, where is "Kafka's Restaurant" located? :D

  • Hamster of Doom||

    You know those big chain grocery stores that roast chicken in rotisseries, and sell hot fresh rotisserie chicken, and also the old chicken that didn't sell as cold rotisserie chicken? Yeah. Some grocery stores in northern CA (and possibly other locations, and yet this is the only location for which I can personally vouch) have a thing for holding the hot chicken as long as health-departmentery possible, and then throwing it out and writing it off as a loss rather than sell it cold. Because then really poor people could buy it, and that would be, like, wrong or some shit.

    It's as if America is getting all these shit results because we keep asking the wrong questions. We seem to have forgotten how.

  • Jerryskids||

    Reminds me of going into a convenience store one time that sold sandwiches, soup, pizza, that sort of thing out of the cooler with a microwave next to it where you could heat up the food. There was a sign on the microwave telling you to pay for the food first before heating it up and when I asked about the sign the guy told me there was a county tax that treated prepared food differently if it was considered ready-to-eat, heating it up in the microwave meant he would have to charge extra tax and he was opposed to that sort of BS.

    And as I've mentioned before, the number of different licenses and permits convenience stores have to have is mind-boggling - different ones for gas, beer, cigarettes, lottery tickets, cold food, hot food, fountain drinks, plus of course the state and city/county have different and duplicate licensing, permitting, and taxing schemes. When you look at the revenues convenience stores generate, I'd guess the government makes at least three times what the store owner makes off the store.

  • DiegoF||

    Move over Mises Institute! The Left has really been feeling the subsidiarity lately!

    Don't look now, but "Cities' Rights" are to today's Left--from the actually dominant statist center (think Mike Bloomberg) to the lunatic fringe--what States' Rights have long been to the Right. We've been hearing this constantly from the global press, with ever-increasing volume, for almost two decades now, and it's deafening: Fuck countries. Cities are the future of global citizenship. All over the world, mayors like [dude who just banned plastic straws, nonhybrid Ubers, transphobic hate speech, or smoking in parks] are leading the way where national and regional governments have failed to act. Cities are moving forward into the 21st century; they're not waiting for anyone anymore! This not only takes advantage of the fact that cities are becoming increasingly monolithically dominated by hardline statist politics; cities are an appealing unit of citizen allegiance against the one that this class of people have come to loathe with every fiber of their being more than any other: the nation-state.

  • DiegoF||

    ...Of course, in Federal countries like the U.S. there is an important distinction between states' rights and cities' rights: the constitutional and historical. We are a bunch of states that decided to come together and form a union, whereas municipalities are creations of the states and exist at their mercy. Nonetheless there is a general attitude of favoring subsidiarity among libertarians, ranging from a weak, pragmatic rule of thumb to strong, deep foundational beliefs. So look for the Ron Paul/ Lew Rockwell crowd, who are so extreme in the latter direction that they sometimes exit the realm of libertarian rhetoric entirely, to have nothing but applause for this development. Personally, I am at the opposite extreme. Most people, in fact, are pretty fucking opportunistic about subsidiarity. Good luck getting the same people to applaud or denounce a statewide plastic bag ban versus a statewide local bag-ban preemption bill. They're all hypocrites. The only reason I'm not is because I freely admit I don't really give an inherent shit about subsidiarity.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    State-Rights was was a left-wing issue for most of American history. The Democrats of the antebellum South used it. Democrats kept using it as they pushed out the feds during the Reconstruction Period. They kept using it to justify the Jim Crow laws they passed in the Progressive Era. They kept using it to fight federal anti-discrimination laws and court rulings.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Governments have power (to kill/coerce). Individuals have rights--moral claims to freedom of action. See Moral Rights and Political Freedom by Tara Smith

  • Eddy||

    "The Democrats of the antebellum South used it."

    They used it if anyone hinted at a federal regulation of Southern slavery.

    They used nationalism and federal supremacy when Northern states tried to preserve free institutions and fight slavery.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    So the guiding principle isn't an abstract jurisdictional right, it's 'the end justifies the means'.

    That always works out so well...

  • Rock Lobster||

    Last month, California (California!) became the latest state to prohibit local governments from imposing new food or beverage taxes.

    In this context (The Peoples' Republic of California being what it is), jealousy, greed, and envy on the state's part is the obvious motivation. Unless one seriously believes that the progs are suddenly concerned with municipal over-regulation, we can expect to see statewide versions of these taxes very soon.

  • DiegoF||

    The obvious motivation was that the beverage industry, grocers, and unions threatened to put a very strong initiative on this year's ballot banning local governments from imposing any taxes without a referendum supermajority vote of local citizens. The politicians were petrified of this and passed this bill if the group promised to pull the initiative.

  • Rock Lobster||

    Makes sense. The two possibilities don't seem to be mutually exclusive, though. In fact, they seem to dovetail quite nicely. In any case, reducing taxes or a sudden concern about nanny state excesses wasn't on their minds.

  • AlmightyJB||

    True. They don't want people to be able to avoid the taxes by driving outside the city limits. Or for the businesses to be able to easily move to where the taxes arent.

  • Agammamon||

    Basically (and Reason already covered this in an earlier article) the bill that prevents municipalities from imposing new food taxes also contains a provision that makes it easier for a legislature to bypass the ballot requirement for new statewide taxes.

    Expect to see the food tax prevention parts to be amended to insignificance over the next few years.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    As per the Supreme Court's ruling on sanctuary cities, Philadelphia is not obligated to enforce the state sales tax within its borders.

  • shortviking||

    Interesting.

  • Agammamon||

    No city is obligated to collect state sales tax. No city is *authorized* to collect state sales taxes. Those are remitted straight to the state by the business. Just like the city sales taxes are remitted directly to the city. Just because it appears as a single total on your receipt doesn't mean that its a single lump for the business behind the scenes.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    From the New York Times: New Hampshire is 94% white. It is now trying to figure out how to change that.

    I sure am glad I don't live there. I learned in college that diversity is important because it enhances everyone's experience. Even for a small state, 94% white is completely unacceptable. This problem needs to be fixed.

    #LibertariansForDiversity
    #OpenBordersForNewHampshire

  • sharmota4zeb||

    That NY Times article says that New Hampshire needs to spur economic growth by encouraging racial minorities to migrate there. First, New Hampshire's economy is doing better than the USA average. Furthermore, I disagree with economic arguments for migration policy, and New Hampshire already has an open border with Massachusetts. The southern part of New Hampshire is within commuting distance of Boston and Worcester, two ethnically diverse areas with upper class jobs. How easy is it to build skyscrapers in southern New Hampshire that could house racial minorities that work in those job markets? If racial mixing is your goal, government regulation is probably the barrier to reaching it.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    That NY Times article also says that Vermont (The state that elected Senator Sanders) and Maine are 95% White and there are pockets of diversity in New Hampshire's relatively urban areas. It mentions that:


    Mostly, though, Northern New England is nearly all white. The reasons stem from a variety of factors, including a lack of big urban areas, where jobs are more plentiful, a wider range of housing is available and cultural differences are a little more accepted than in smaller places.

    Why is Northern New England so rural? What motivated Teddy Roosevelt and his fellow travelers to preserve American lands as immigration to America rose rapidly? Consider the case of Madison Grant, Roosevelt's ally, a leader in the preservationist efforts of the time, and author of "The Passing of the Great Race, or The Racial Basis of European History" in 1916 to warn of the decline in Nordic people.

    #PreservationistRacists

  • Agammamon||

    It cold also be that minorities aren't stupid and don't like living n places that are fucking cold as hell for half the year.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Your NY Times article cites an expert who blames the lack of racial diversity in the area on a lack of affordable homes:

    "Northern New England is a huge collection of very, very small towns," said Peter Francese, a demographic analyst based in Exeter, N.H.

    "Housing is at the core of why there aren't more immigrants — there's no place for them," he said. "An ethnic person who wants to come in with a family of four or five people is not going to find a home they can afford, and there's almost no rental housing whatsoever." In addition, Northern New England has the nation's highest concentration of second homes, making the housing market especially tight.

    In other words, New Hampshire needs the type of luxury condos and suburban sprawl that progressives oppose if minorities are going to move there.

    #PreservationistAreRacist

  • Agammamon||

    That's some bullshit. I was looking for places with lots of land in the US (for shits and giggles) and found several places in the NE that are affordable for a large family.

    https://tinyurl.com/ycx67vbg

    Here you go, 86 acres in Pittsburgh for 69k - just have to build the house on it.

    https://tinyurl.com/yd2tylgy

    350k for an 8 bedroom, 3,300 ft2 house on 5 acres outside Manchester, NH. If 350k can buy you that much, 150k ought to get you a decent 1250ft2 3 br/2ba in the city.

    I think the problem is that these people have no sense of perspective. *Of course* the government/ngo apparatchik is going to be able to drop 350k for the big house - and they'd consider it a horrible imposition to have to take anything smaller. The rest of us . . . have smaller ambitions out of necessity. I mean, the very idea that a family of 4-5 requires a special big house is crazy.

  • Agammamon||

    Take these links with a grain of salt. I suspect that realtors up in the NE aren't all hip to these newfangled computationers and intertubes and keep forgetting mundane details like decimal points, MIchael!

  • Rock Lobster||

    Not to worry OBL. The DNC is aware of this serious problem and is on the case. As a stopgap measure until the Democrats regain control of the legislature and are able to fairly re-gerrymander voting districts, $10,000.00 has been allocated to various community organizers and grassroots activists to purchase cases of black and brown spray paint at bulk prices. Volunteers from among the recognized wokest groups (see: New Hampshire Colleges ) are being actively recruited for temporary epidermal melanin reassignment.

    FOR THE PEOPLE!!!

  • Agammamon||

    You have to wonder when they'll realize these are just arbitrary groupings. I mean, why at the state level? Why not at the national level? Why not at the global level? Why not measure it by school district? Or neighborhood. If you draw your lines right then the majority of the US is of the 'correct' racial mix. And if you draw them a different way we're a bunch of single-race enclaves.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    I will grant that it's good for northern New England to expand its economy outside of the tourism sector like your NY Times article suggested. I mean, according to this RT article about Amsterdam:

    Amsterdam welcomes 18 million tourists every year – more than the total population of the Netherlands. The city has recently been hit by a string of violent incidents. In late June, a motorcycle gang member was arrested after he allegedly fired an anti-tank missile at an office building which houses a magazine publisher in Amsterdam. Just days later, a van crashed into the head office of daily newspaper De Telegraaf in the Dutch capital, in what police believe was a deliberate attack. Neither incident resulted in casualties.
  • Agammamon||

    Half of that article is reporting on some dude complaining that people are doing things that shouldn't be illegal in the first places - OMG, someone's openly buying and selling drugs! The horror . . . the horror.

  • Hank Phillips||

    So if beaten to death for loose cigarettes the meme is "I can't breathe." What will it be when revenue cops kill you for pushing soda pop?

  • Agammamon||

    Dude had a pallet! of of uncut Coke.

  • Eddy||

    Fell off a truck. Don't pop the top for a few minutes.

  • lovers||

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