Food Tax

By suecsdy Latest Reply 2017-12-05 20:55:26 -0600
Started 2017-11-07 16:54:49 -0600

The liberal powers that be that currently control our city govt are considering a "junk food tax" to encourage people to make healthier food choices. IMO, what they really want is a source of additional income to fund some of their pet projects, like removing certain statues from our park at an outrageous cost and buying modern art work to decorate our city with, or buying exorbitantly priced "Portland Pottys" instead of fixing the darn potholes and installing much needed sidewalks in some neighborhoods. again IMO, the govt needs to stay out of peoples' private lives. You cannot make people eat better if it isn't their choice. I don't eat junk food very much any more, but if and when I choose to splurge, I don't think I should have to pay extra for it. I think I've already paid an adequate price for my junk food days.

13 replies

GabbyPA 2017-11-12 12:32:10 -0600 Report

I'm not for additional taxes, as I think we are in over our heads on it already. In fact, I believe that some of the sugar taxes have been repealed in some cities. I see Just Joyce says it has happened there and I recall hearing about it recently. People will do what they do and if they want it bad enough they will get what they want. The trouble even with the "sin" taxes is that it gets into a spiral and depending on who the law makers are at the time and what the "button pushing" topics are, a tax will go beyond even just this simple venue.

Will they tax the person who buys beef because it causes heart attacks? Will there be a tax on artificial sweeteners because they cause health issues? Will we tax energy drinks because they hype people up? That all sounds silly, but once we start this, it will not find a place to stop. Prepared foods such as most junk foods are already taxed in general while whole or raw foods are generally untaxed. Does it really have to go beyond that?

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2017-11-13 12:30:52 -0600 Report

Gabby those taxes can hurt businesses. I go to the county where there is no tax to buy diet soda. One long time business closed because he didn't want to pass the tax on to his customers buy raising the prices of beverages in his store. We had a failed snack tax. It doesn't work. Either people will buy their snacks where they do not have to pay the taxes or people will pay the extra money and not buy as much as they use to.

Many stores here no longer sell 20 oz bottles of sodas but you can still buy them at Gas Stations and corner stores. This was done to prevent people from drinking a lot of sugary beverages at one time. People will still drink as much of it as they want. The government has not learned that you cannot control the amount of food and beverages people want to eat at any given time.

suecsdy 2017-11-12 14:30:33 -0600 Report

I surely hope not. There is at least 1 person on the city council who is opposed to it. If they do decide to go that route, we should get to vote on it. It's like being told that you can't be trusted to do the right thing, so we're going to make you do it. of course, we didn't get a say on the statue removal or the purchase of another potty or the modern art. They're even trying to change the Alamo, for pete's sake!

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2017-11-13 12:24:58 -0600 Report

One person on a city council opposing something is like spitting in wind. The majority is going to pass the tax.

Have you ever been to a City Council hearing where the public can speak? If not go. It is basically a circus and people have valid points, On the other hand are the people who are totally clueless and odds are it is more of the clueless than ones with valid points.

We didn't have a say in our city about the removal of statues. Personally, I am glad they are gone. I did not want to see people who fought for slavery honored in such a manner. They are going to be placed in a museum where people can choose to go see them.

Yes we have potholes that need to be repaired. We have a bridge that have potholes in it and you can see the water in the river beneath it through the potholes. I asked the Mayor why not just give people life jackets before they drive across it. Money for street repairs is supplemented by the Federal Government. Instead of voicing your opinion on here why aren't you putting your concerns in writing to your elected officials and hold them accountable. I am on a first name basis with mine.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2017-11-11 16:29:19 -0600 Report

Our city did that but it was repealed because people like me was buying snacks in the county. We now have a bottle tax on beverages with the exception of water. I buy bottle beverages in the county.

While I agree the government should stay out of peoples lives for the simple reason, you cannot force people to eat healthy, taxing snacks basically do not work if you can get outside of the city to buy snacks. Worked for me.

In our city, if the city replaces a privately owned sidewalk, the owner foots the bill because the City will send you a bill and and if you do not pay it they will put a lien on your house. I just requested for safety reasons, the city replace sidewalks around vacant lots owned by them for safety reasons. When a contractor was hired to tear down six houses next to me, I emailed my City Councilman and the Mayors office asking that the contractor replace the sidewalks he removed because our Senior Citizens now have to walk in the street because the path they left was treacherous for them to walk. Two weeks later the contractor was back replacing the sidewalks. He was pissed because he lost money like I cared.

As far as beautification, don't you think visitors to your city would like to see how pretty the city is? "Portland Potty's" is not a bad idea because it gives people a place to go should they have the need. A lot of businesses do not have public restrooms.

Our city has improved main thoroughfares that go across the city. That is a pain in the but because you cannot see around the pretty plants and bushes at intersections where you have to turn. They are always beautifying the more affluent communities while many of our poorer communities look like a third world country. Through budget cuts, we lost men who swept the streets and mechanical street sweepers is not all over the city. Many of us clean out streets and pay for the garbage bags. When we had quarterly meetings with the former Mayor. I asked her why does the Public Works Department make it hard for us to get the bags the city uses. Many of the people in my community are on fixed incomes and can't afford to keep buying bags to clean the streets. Two days later a Public Works supervisor was at my door with two bundles of bags. I distributed them to neighbors which reminds me I need more.

I understand why your opinion is what it is but I have been a community person for the past 15 years and I understand why beautification is needed. It increases property values and makes it easier to sell homes in areas where the community is pleasing to look at.

Nick1962 2017-11-10 17:11:33 -0600 Report

Are you sure that’s where the money is going?
As Lou mentioned, we already have a “sin” tax on alcohol and tobacco. As a frequent “sinner” in those two areas, I know a good portion of that tax goes to education, treatment, and research. If I’m not going to quit, at least I’m helping others.
Would the tax be more palatable if it partially went to fund diabetes research, education and treatment?

Not that I put much stock in blogs and articles:

suecsdy 2017-11-10 18:04:48 -0600 Report

Those are just a few examples of what our city govt has spent money on recently. The removal of the supposedly offensive ( confederate) status cost twice as much as we were told, the potty(!) Cost several hundred thousand and the art work (sculpture) is some modern unrecognizable piece. They are quite fond of approving these things behind closed doors and THEN presenting It as a "done deal".

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2017-12-04 13:30:25 -0600 Report

As an African American, those statues are not supposedly offensive, they ARE offensive because of what they represent.
and the racist connotations connected to them. In our City they were removed because of demand and because our Mayor didn't want protesters coming here to destroy them and the area around them. Had the protesters gotten here to remove them, this would have cost the city over a million tax dollars in police over time and city agencies cleaning up the aftermath of their violence. We are still recovering from the uprising from 2 years ago and the city is slowing healing from that. In out case, a construction company donated the time and equipment to remove all of the statues overnight thus thwarting the protesters.

I don't know what city you live in while it is true that much is done behind closed doors, our city always have hearings that are open to the public and people can sign up to speak. The problem is politicians often do not listen to the public which is why you have to hold them accountable for what they do. The ones I know all know I hold their feet under the fire because I don't have a problem holding them accountable.

haoleboy 2017-12-05 11:51:03 -0600 Report

as a "white" American I find those statues offensive.
Statues are "tributes" to people or events …not "history".
paying tribute to those that took arms against their country in support of morally repugnant practices is just wrong
I spent my school years (the 1960's) living in the south. we lived right off "Jefferson Davis Highway" … that always weirded me out. we had schools named "Robert E. Lee" and "J. E. B. Stuart" … what did the black kids think about going to schools with those names???

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2017-12-05 20:55:26 -0600 Report

Steve the only school I went to that was named after a person was Harriet Beecher Stowe and it was my elementary school. What i didn't like was the fact that it had CO on the Cornice which stood for "Colored Only" The building still stands in very poor shape. I had it save from demolition because it is one of the 3 oldest Elementary Schools in the City. I live in one of the most es Historic Communities in the City. None of them were named after Confederate Solders. One is the Elementary School that Thurgood Marshall attended. The other is on the National Historic Registry.

The School was I believe a German School and they moved out as African Americans settled in the community. It did not have indoor plumbing until about 1955. Back then during the spring when it got hot. we went to the basement to watch filmstrips because it was cool. There were big barn doors down there. When it was opened, there was a tunnel we were not allowed to enter. About 20 yrs ago I researched the building and learned tunnel goes about 7 blocks to the old Orchard Street Church and is part of the Underground Railroad. a historian tried to get it certified but the U.S .Departmet of the Interior refuses to give it the certification Many of our schools are not named after Confederates. The problem is that we should not be forced to be reminded of people who fought to keep slavery in this country and statues of people who accomplished something that benefited the entire county and not a select group.

haoleboy 2017-11-08 09:51:52 -0600 Report

I'm never in favor of giving more of our money to the government
sales taxes in any form are regressive, putting a greater burden on those at lower income levels

Type1Lou 2017-11-08 07:22:48 -0600 Report

There are a lot of "sin" taxes…e.g. alcohol and tobacco. I, for one, support these taxes that might discourage people from habits that affect health and ultimately cost us all.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2017-11-13 12:09:50 -0600 Report

The alcohol and tobacco taxes help to a point. Under aged drinking is a problem for several reasons. Parents who have bars in their homes rarely lock up alcohol and kids have access to it. Young adults who have friends 17 and up will buy alcohol and cigarettes for them. The problem now is binge drinking and you find that with college kids and teens. Since Prohibition didn't work, taxing alcohol and tobacco isn't working as it should.