Coca-Cola, not exactly the healthiest beverage choice but a refreshing one. Unless you are in Illinois that is. Illinois General Assembly is proposing a $0.02 tax (or a $0.01 depending on which lawmaker is talking) on each fluid ounce of soda sold.
Doesn’t sound too expensive does it? It does when you go by the report ran on the Huffington Post article “By the Numbers: What Americans Drink a Year”, which suggest that the average American drinks 44.7 gallons of sugary drinks -or soda- a year. That’s 5,722 fluid ounces.
If the $0.01 tax were to pass that would have the average Illinois citizen spending $57.22 a year on soda tax. If a $0.02 tax were to pass that would be a $114.43 extra per year.
Starting to get a bit pricey right?
The U.S Census suggest that 12,882,000 people are citizens of Illinois. If each person were to pay just the $0.01 extra that would total to $737,108,040 a year in tax. Double that number for the $0.02 tax and that would be $1,474,216,080.
What is the purpose of such a tax? Supposedly to decrease the amount of money spent on Medicare and Medicaid insurance. Less soda means a person is healthier. But to imagine that this tax does not affect the amount of soda sold and that this 44.7 gallons of soda intake stays the same what would Springfield do with the extra soda tax money? That’s another thing not exactly clear to the Illinois citizen.
Two years ago the state imposed a 6.7% sales tax addition to soda’s and sugary drinks to help pay for the $31 billion state capital project. This sales tax is apparently here to stay.
In the Godfrey, Illinois Wal-Mart one could purchase a 20 ounce Pepsi for $1.68. Add a 6.7% tax ($0.11) and then an extra $0.02 per fluid ounce ($0.40) making a total of $0.51 for tax. That $1.68 Pepsi now costs $2.20 or $011 an ounce.
Questions linger with the soda tax. Is it worth it? Will it really make heath care cost drop and generate an extra income line for the broke Illinois government? If Illinois lawmakers were sincerely trying to cut soda out of American’s lives it would get rid of companies like Pepsi and Coca-Cola. Two companies who employ so many Americans.
Has it gone too far?