Monday, August 31, 2015

Higher soda prices mean less fat. But do new taxes mean higher soda prices?

The Inquirer highlights a new study that suggests that higher soda prices lead to lower body fat. The study is cast, both by the paper and the author of the study, as potential evidence in favor of the Nutter administration's soda tax proposal.

Higher soda prices mean less fat. But do new taxes mean higher soda prices?

0 comments

The Inquirer highlights a new study that suggests that higher soda prices lead to lower body fat. The study is cast, both by the paper and the author of the study, as potential evidence in favor of the Nutter administration's soda tax proposal.

The study is indeed an encouraging sign for some of the arguments the Nutter administration is making -- the administration wouldn't want to read that higher taxes don't lead to less soda consumption. But it should be pointed out that this study doesn't address what may be the biggest question about Nutter's soda tax plan: Will it actually lead to an increase in the price of soda, especially compared to other foods?

As the Daily News wrote yesterday:

Most taxes designed to encourage healthier behavior (often called sin taxes) are levied at the point of sale, like tobacco. That shows consumers they are paying more for an unhealthy product. Nutter's soda tax wouldn't work this way

[snip]

Retailers will have to calculate exactly how many drinks they sell, how many of those are sugared, report that amount to the city, then get assessed a 2-cents-per-ounce tax on that amount. That means a new set of accounting tasks, which may not be a problem for big retailers like WalMart, but could be for smaller ones. By the time they have to pass this tax onto consumers, retailers could decide it's easier to spread the hike across all products, not just sugared soda.

This seems to us to be the biggest hurdle the administration has to overcome to make the case for this tax.

Follow us on Twitter and review city services on our sister site, City Howl.

0 comments
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy:

Philly.com comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by Philly.com staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
 
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog
Every year, city government spends slightly more than $4 billion. Where does all that money come from? More importantly, where does it go? Are we getting the most bang for our tax buck? “It's Our Money” is a joint project between Philadelphia Daily News and WHYY, funded by the William Penn Foundation, designed to answer these questions.

It's Our Money contributors

Tips? Comments? Questions?
Contact:

Holly Otterbein:
215-854-5809
hm.otterbein@gmail.com
@hollyotterbein

It's Our Money
Also on Philly.com
letter icon Newsletter