FOOD TAXES - Research Paper Example

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As a result, different states have different policies when it comes to taxing of food. Many states have focused on enacting tax cuts and as a result, only seventeen states charge sales tax on…
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memorandum Food taxes 9/12/16 cc: Taxation of food across the United s has been a of debate for many years. As a result, different states have different policies when it comes to taxing of food. Many states have focused on enacting tax cuts and as a result, only seventeen states charge sales tax on food. Six of these have a specific tax rate on food while eleven states subject food to the general tax rate1. However, of the remaining thirty four states that do not charge sales tax on food, food sales in three states are subject to local taxes. These include Georgia, Louisiana and North Carolina. In addition, those states which charge sales tax on food such as Arkansas and Utah subject food sales to local taxes. This leads to differences in the rates of taxes charged from one city to the other within the same state.
Although some states do not charge tax on food, there are certain food items or products that are taxable. Each state has provided a list of these non-exempt products. For example, in Iowa, product such as chewing gum, dietary supplements and pet foods and supplies are subject to tax2.
Currently, there is debate on whether or not states should start to charge ‘fat tax’. Many have argued that there is need to charge high tax on unhealthy products in order to reduce the occurrence of diseases like obesity and heart diseases. For example, in an article by Lara Salahi and Samantha Meaney (2012), the authors argue that adding tax on unhealthy foods and drinks will help reduce the cases of obesity and other diseases3. For instance, they argue that a tax rate of about 20 per cent in sugar-sweetened drinks could help reduce obesity cases by 3.5 per cent and also help to prevent close to 3000 heart-related deaths. Read More
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