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Should there be a tax on sugar? Show more Show less
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When buying groceries you usually get a receipt and on the receipt is a section for the tax. Now the tax varies from state to state but despite what people might think it’s not the individual items that have a tax on them. Sugar itself is untaxed but people are starting to wonder if it should be.

No, there should not be a tax on sugar Show more Show less

Sugar is a commodity and should continue to be exempt from taxes usually placed on cooked or baked food items.
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Sugar should not be taxed because it is no longer a luxury good

Sugar used to be a luxury good that only the rich could afford. In today's world sugar is no longer a luxury good but a household item. No longer is it reserved for the wealthy. With its new status of being a. it is no longer a luxury good nor should it be taxed as such.

The Argument

In the past, sugar was a luxury good; something that only the rich could afford. This was because in the past there weren't fields of sugar beets or the more popular and mainstream sugar cane.[1] It was expensive to produce and was always in short supply and high demand. The most common form of sugar was fruit that only lasted as long as the season. Now it's different. After a production explosion that began with slavery and cheap labor, the system was furthered by industrialization, allowing for continued cheap production. With these changes, sugar is no longer a luxury good; it's a household item. Since sugar is no longer a luxury good, it isn't fair to tax it. It's a common ingredient and not a very rare ingredient that's expensive to import. Since it's left raw, it has been exempt from taxes and unlike other items that are taxed, i.e. soda pop or candy which are both processed and take extra steps beyond the sugar refinement.[2] Even those taxes though are rarely used which may suggest how unpopular a potential tax would be.

Counter arguments

Sugar might no longer be a luxury good but that doesn't change its uses. Sugar is an extremely versatile medium in the realm of cooking and baking. Just one look at how far the cooking industry has progressed shows its potential. The history of sugar doesn't have the best start, nor should people forget that, but in today's world sugar is everywhere. Not just foods but medicines. It's in every kitchen, every restaurant, and every medicine cabinet. With how many uses it has even a small tax will be able to generate a large amount of tax dollars which will be able to contribute back to the people in our communities. A luxury good or not, that’s not the point of taxes. Taxes were created for money to flow from people back into the community. Luxury taxes were created as a way to tax the rich to do the same instead of holding onto all of it.[3] Luxury goods were usually necessary, frivolous items that people could splurge on. Sugar is no longer such a frivolous item with its importance in todays society but that's the reason why it should be taxed. Sugar is an indulgence and while it's no longer a luxury good it's a luxury to splurge on having. A small tax would allow for it to contribute to more than just health problems.

Proponents

Premises

[P1] Sugar is no longer seen as a luxury good and should not be treated as such

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://chocolateclass.wordpress.com/2015/03/13/sugar-past-and-present/
  2. https://www.thebalance.com/soda-tax-and-which-cities-have-one-4151209
  3. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/l/luxury_tax.asp
This page was last edited on Friday, 13 Nov 2020 at 11:07 UTC