Colorado Editorials

Boulder Daily Camera: Sugar tax not all sweetness for city

Author: The Boulder Daily Camera Editorial Board - July 7, 2018 - Updated: July 7, 2018

One year since Boulder’s soda tax went into effect, critics claim it has failed to achieve its goals and is really just a burden on small business owners and consumers. Your take?

Fern O’Brien: 
Using taxes to change behavior is not new.
 We have long had so-called sin taxes on alcohol and cigarettes in an attempt to reduce their consumption. Carbon tax is a more recent offshoot of this phenomenon. Sales taxes are a regressive form of taxation because they disproportionately burden those who are financially less well-off.

The sugary drink tax is another regressive tax. It has been a success, however, in terms of raising additional funds to target diet and health issues in our community. Anecdotal evidence of its effectiveness is running in both directions. Some are adamant that it has had no effect, and some believe it has had a discernible effect. Whether the tax has actually reduced sugar consumption will be revealed when the data being collected now is published early in 2019.

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The Boulder Daily Camera Editorial Board