Sales taxation is a clear benefit to Haines and adjusting sales tax rates and goals makes perfect sense.  This useful revenue-generating instrument can target real problems.  A wonderful example is how Sweden hiked the liquor tax then subsidized low-alcohol beer in 1977–resulting in reduced alcohol-related hospitalization, auto-related deaths, and less liver disease.  Today 28 nations tax sweetened beverages.  They are easy to identify as a product-class and, on-net, added sugar is really bad news.  Smart, differential sales taxation can motivate smarter consumer choices.

Sugar, sugar, sugar and more sugar—are central to our slow-rolling pandemics of metabolic disease and earlier death.  Consider these CDC statistics on American health:  average daily US sugar consumption, 17-teaspoons;  100,000,000 diabetic or pre-diabetic;  1/3 of adults at risk for kidney disease; cardiovascular disease killed 697,000 in 2020; current obesity-rate, 42%.  Failing to address this health and financial calamity is a national shame.  I ask you, with such pervasive sickness, how can any nation survive?  

Added sugar is not a food, because zero is required for human nutrition.  The agri-food Fat Cats add sugar to about 2/3 of our grocery store consumables for the drug-like allure.  Please levy higher taxes on, at least, the sweetened beverages, then subsidize preferred consumer outcomes–tax exemption for whole fruits and vegetables, nuts, legumes, eggs, dairy, whole grains, quality meats, refillable bottled water, etc.  Easy win!  Sales taxation can reduce this driver of early death, infirmity and financial collapse.

Burl Sheldon