Last Updated: December 20, 2013Topic: Candy Taxes
Confectionery products are increasingly becoming a target for lawmakers across state legislatures in an effort to raise revenue.
Lawmakers will occasionally claim that discriminatory taxes on certain foods are intended to help curb the obesity epidemic in the U.S. The reality is that, due to the arbitrary nature of the taxes, consumers don't know which food products in the store have a sales tax and which do not. Even if they did, the fact is that candy represents less that 2 percent of the calories Americans consume; it is a little pleasure that can be enjoyed as part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
The National Confectioners Association and it members oppose these discriminatory taxes for many reasons. Tax policy should not interfere with the marketplace by creating competitive disadvantages for arbitrarily created food classifications. Furthermore, varying tax rates for different types of foods create confusion and compliance problems with retailers and others who are charged with collecting the taxes. Additionally, food taxes hurt lower- and middle-income American families who spend a larger portion of their income on food purchases.