Illinois legislators briefly consider, promptly dismiss soda-tax proposal

posted at 8:01 pm on May 27, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

After first implying that he would rather pursue the ban through the city council than through top-down regulation, current New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio suddenly announced earlier this month his intention to take up former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s ridiculously unworkable big-soda ban, which a New York Supreme Court judge shot down as such last year. With any luck de Blasio won’t prove any more successful than his predecessor with that particular misadventure in nanny-statism, but in the meantime, if there are any other places you might expect to take up that sort of cause, Illinois would probably be at the top of the list.

Fortunately, however, state legislators looking at a similar type of proposal for a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages felt rather disinclined, via the Chicago Tribune:

A panel of House lawmakers today voted down a proposal to impose a tax of one penny per ounce of sugar-sweetened beverages, saying it would have cost consumers an extra $2.88 per case of soda.

Sponsoring Rep. Robyn Gabel, D-Evanston, said she hoped the tax would generate up to $600 million a year in a state grappling for new dollars while steering people away from unhealthy drinks linked to obesity and diabetes.

Only two members of the House Revenue and Finance Committee voted in favor of the bill. Seven opposed it.

“This is a middle-class regressive tax,” said Rep. John Bradley, the Marion Democrat who chairs the panel. “This really hurts working people.”

The main Democratic sponsor of the bill made all of the usual arguments in favor of the levy, i.e. discouraging obesity and beating back rising healthcare costs, but I’m always bemused by progressives’ gravitation toward sin taxes: They can evidently readily recognize the general truth that, when you tax a certain behavior, you reliably get less of it. Why they persist in arguing in favor of taxes that effectively tax behaviors like job creation, then, remains a mystery.


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In other news, Bloomberg considers challenging Rahmbo in Democrat primaries, then decides his kneecaps are kinda dear to him.

Rix on May 27, 2014 at 8:08 PM

They were gonna tax an ice creamy dessert?
Oh-you mean the general assembly wanted to tax pop.
Figgers.

annoyinglittletwerp on May 27, 2014 at 8:10 PM

Why they persist in arguing in favor of taxes that effectively tax behaviors like job creation, then, remains a mystery.

Simple, less people working makes more people dependent on government.

bgibbs1000 on May 27, 2014 at 8:18 PM

It’s not fortunate that this tax wasn’t passed. The people who vote socialists into office deserve to feel the results of their choices in full measure. They should be forced to embrace the suck. And ask for another.

ROCnPhilly on May 27, 2014 at 8:20 PM

Gotta be something around there they can tax.

lowandslow on May 27, 2014 at 8:41 PM

Leave my Coke alone!!!!

ladyingray on May 27, 2014 at 8:52 PM

ladyingray on May 27, 2014 at 8:52 PM

Pop!
In Illinois it’s POP!

annoyinglittletwerp on May 27, 2014 at 9:03 PM

In southern Illinois its “coke.” I have never asked for a “pop” in my entire life.

Hendo on May 27, 2014 at 10:51 PM

I’m always bemused by progressives’ gravitation toward sin taxes: They can evidently readily recognize the general truth that, when you tax a certain behavior, you reliably get less of it. Why they persist in arguing in favor of taxes that effectively tax behaviors like job creation, then, remains a mystery.

Idiots with an agenda.

In southern Illinois its “coke.” I have never asked for a “pop” in my entire life.

Hendo on May 27, 2014 at 10:51 PM

While I was working as a car-hop at a drive-in during high-school, my favorite order was the little kid who got on the speaker and asked for “three cokes, and make two of them Dr. Peppers.”

(shout-out to ALT: that was in a little town a bit north of Lubbock.)

AesopFan on May 28, 2014 at 1:35 AM

Only two members of the House Revenue and Finance Committee voted in favor of the bill. Seven opposed it.

“This is a middle-class regressive tax,” said Rep. John Bradley, the Marion Democrat who chairs the panel. “This really hurts working people.”

Wow. Give credit where credit is due; this Democrat actually stated a well-reasoned and coherent thought. Good for them. :)

Theophile on May 28, 2014 at 1:36 AM

The main Democratic sponsor of the bill made all of the usual arguments in favor of the levy, i.e. discouraging obesity and beating back rising healthcare costs, but I’m always bemused by progressives’ gravitation toward sin taxes: They can evidently readily recognize the general truth that, when you tax a certain behavior, you reliably get less of it. Why they persist in arguing in favor of taxes that effectively tax behaviors like job creation, then, remains a mystery.

You were expecting maybe intellectual consistency?

There Goes the Neighborhood on May 28, 2014 at 2:30 AM