Soda Tax Not a Viable Solution

Jim McMillan. Photo by Joe L. Fisher, Black American Political Action Committee (BAPAC).

By Jim McMillan

The desired results cannot be obtained by simply placing a tax on sodas.
If people want the sodas they will pay the extra money. There are jurisdictions within 5-15 min where there are not taxes, and people will go there.
The problem should be attacked from the standpoint of education. Start with the state health department, food and drug agencies, etc. Do educational programs in schools and health facilities, and educate people to the dangers of concentrated sugars in soda.
If such a tax did succeed, the funds would be general purpose and serve the general purpose of the city, for which we already pay taxes. I don’t think it’s a desirable and effective way to curb the consumption of sodas.
The point is why cause the people who are going to buy soft drinks anyway to spend extra money. It’s not a viable solution to a problem we need to work collectively to address.
It’s a health problem, not a tax problem.
Jim McMillan is a former member of the Richmond City Council.