Sports Betting. The Latest Tax Revenue Fad
First it was booze & cigarettes, and then casinos. Oh, and taxes on sugary beverages. Then, of course, online gaming. And now recreational weed and sports betting.
Setting aside the argument about why sanctioning betting on professional sports is just stupid, can we agree that prostitution will be the next new tax windfall?
Although it may be difficult to come up with more vices to tax, there MUST be some new ideas out there that don't involve taking advantage of people hurting themselves in one way or another? Or must we now apply added taxes on tax obese people's seats on planes, tanning booths, and operating a motorcycle without a helmet ( there must be a way we can do that) ? Oh, and maybe we shouldn't forget an excise tax on fried food, cheese, and anything with partially hydrogenated oils or trans fats?
It's long been argued that if the revenue from a given tax could be designated to only be used to remediate the problem caused by the taxed item, then taxes could achieve a more focused purpose. Not that excise taxes on private jets, yachts & Lamborghinis need to focused on eradicating them. But the funds derived from taxing something blatantly harmful to our quality of life could be applied toward reversing the negative impact of that taxed item.
If we tax things that are detrimental, then it makes sense to tax environmentally harmful things. So why wouldn't Philadelphia, Pennsylvania join other green cities, like Washington, DC. Seattle, Washington, and Austin, Texas?
The story is a little confusing, but in essence, the city of Philadelphia doesn't seem to want to stop using these omnipresent plastic shopping bags, and not unexpectedly, the plastic bag industry is joining them in their resistance.
Pennsylvania (USA) governor Tom Wolf is determined that plastic bags will be taxed, and won't let the state's filthiest city, Philadelphia, escape that tax. He presses the matter amid the opposition from Philadelphia city council. Here's the story from State Impact PA.