Call for ‘sin tax’ repeal

| June 5, 2018

Excise taxes should be repealed in the US because they harm the poor disproportionately by requiring them to pay a higher portion of their incomes in taxes, say members of the Project 21 black leadership network.

In its Blueprint for a Better Deal for Black America, Project 21 calls for repealing both gasoline taxes and ‘sin taxes’ on items such as tobacco, non-tobacco nicotine products, alcohol, soda, and fatty foods.

This, it says, would reduce the burden on those who were economically at risk.

“With fuel prices on the rise, repealing taxes that can add up to 60 cents per gallon of gasoline would give much-needed relief for the poor who are hurt the most by rising prices,” said Project 21 member Rich Holt, a political consultant who also co-chairs the Ohio Center-Right Coalition meeting. “For the working poor who must drive to work, cutting fuel consumption simply isn’t an option. Each additional dollar spent on gasoline is a dollar that can’t be spent on food, medical care and other necessities.”

Project 21’s blueprint says that ‘sin taxes’ on items including fatty foods, sodas, alcohol, tobacco and non-tobacco nicotine products such as e-cigarettes are less about promoting public health than about generating government revenue. It cites a report by the UK’s Adam Smith Institute that found: ‘Sin taxes are blunt instruments which are more likely to deter moderate users than abusers’.

The Adam Smith Institute noted also that the bottom 10 percent of wage earners spent four times as much on taxes on cigarettes than did the top 10 percent; that the bottom 20 percent of wage earners spent nearly twice as much in alcohol taxes than did the top 20 percent; and that the bottom 20 percent spent seven times as much in taxes on fatty foods than did the top 20 percent.

“Federal and state excise taxes combined can add an average of $179 per year to a family’s gasoline bills,” said Project 21 co-chairman Stacy Washington, a nationally-syndicated talk radio host on the American Family Radio and Urban Family Talk networks. “While this might have little impact on wealthy and solidly middle-class drivers, it can have a devastating impact on those living near the poverty line.

“Add sin taxes on tobacco, alcohol and fatty foods and there is a heavy toll imposed on poor Americans, who are disproportionately minorities.

“Project 21 is calling for government to get off the backs of our poorest citizens by repealing these regressive taxes now.”

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Category: Breaking News, Financial, People, Tax

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