Taxing sweetened beverages has emerged as an important and effective policy for addressing their overconsumption. However, taxes may place a greater economic burden on people with lower incomes. We assess the degree to which sweetened beverage taxes in three large U.S. cities placed an inequitable burden on populations with lower incomes by assessing spending on beverage taxes by income after taxes have been implemented, as well as any net transfer of funds towards lower income populations once allocation of tax revenue is considered. We find that while lower-income populations pay a higher percentage of their income in beverage taxes, there is no difference in absolute spending on beverage taxes per capita, and that there is a sizable net transfer of funds towards programs targeting lower-income populations. Thus, when considering both population-level taxes paid and sufficiently targeted allocations of tax revenues, a sweetened beverage tax may have characteristics of an equitable public policy.
Published: July 2022
ID #: 76299
Journal: Food Policy
Authors: Jones-Smith JC, Knox MA, Coe NB, Walkinshaw LP, Schoof J, Hamilton D, Hurvitz PM, Krieger J
Evaluating the impact of state-level economic-support policies on the nutritional health of kids and familiesTo address ongoing concerns of child poverty across the United States, states have introduced and modified family economic security policies related to the state minimum wage (MW) and state earned income tax credit (EITC). While poor nutritional health disproportionately impacts children who experience poverty, few studies have examined the potentially beneficial effects of state-level MW More