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Unpublished Paper
Formulating a Soda Tax Fit for Consumption: A Pragmatic Approach to Implementing the Failed New York Soda Tax.
ExpressO (2012)
  • Joseph Angelo DeSantis, University of California - Davis
Abstract
Previous attempts to levy a one-cent per-ounce tax on sodas, or sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB), have failed because they are modeled after a sin tax. This article proposes a different approach. An SSB tax should have two limited aims: (1) avoid implicitly demonizing soda consumption and (2) offset the cost of treating diseases attributed to SSB consumption. To these ends, this article explores using the basic principles of insurance to offset costs associated with risky behavior, without implicitly condemning that behavior. It further explores the link between SSB consumption and direct health costs to estimate a proper offset. Finally, this article addresses the question of redistributing the SSB tax revenue. It argues that the existing approach, using revenue to fund anti-soda campaigns and plug budget shortfalls, will not generate voter support. It proposes and evaluates two methods of redistributing revenue and discusses how they may increase the likelihood of adoption.
Keywords
  • soda,
  • soda tax,
  • SSB,
  • sugar-sweetened beverages,
  • obesity,
  • SSB tax,
  • health care
Disciplines
Publication Date
February 1, 2012
Citation Information
Joseph Angelo DeSantis. "Formulating a Soda Tax Fit for Consumption: A Pragmatic Approach to Implementing the Failed New York Soda Tax." ExpressO (2012)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/joseph_desantis/1/