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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Morning Coffee: Washington State taxes candy . . . I'm looking forward to the lawsuit

Going Concern reports that Washington State is about to start taxing "candy," and defines candy essentially as a sweet item not containing flour. So, candy bars like Kit-Kat and Twix won't be taxed, but M&Ms will. There's got to be some kind of lawsuit based on this, I just can't quite put my finger on the cause of action yet.

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  • At 5/18/10, 8:44 AM, Blogger Jennifer said…

    In my opinion, we should be taxing the heck out of anything that has more than a specific amount of sugar, salt, or fat per serving. Not sure what these amounts should be but obviously the healthy limits would apply. I remember seeing protest commercials about the sugary beverage tax with a woman asking how she's supposed to feed her family if we tax soda. DON'T BUY SODA? Water is all but free AND its better for you! Honestly, if we walked into a store and saw a candy bar for $.89 but knew there would be an 80% tax on it, wouldn't we buy less candy, and of course eat less candy, and as a nation, get a little slimmer? Same for potato chips and other junky stuff. Make it more expensive and people will have no choice but to eat less of it.

  • At 5/18/10, 9:33 PM, Blogger Camille said…

    What? Twix aren't a protected class for a discrimination case?? :-)

    I read a study recently where they did two scenarios: 1) taxed the junk food and then 2) reduced prices on the good stuff (e.g. veggies). Turns out a tax deterred people from buying the junk food. When they saved money on the good food -- they used the savings to buy junk food! LOL

  • At 5/19/10, 3:00 PM, Blogger Lisa said…

    we already do the taxing certain candy in the southeast. no one seems to notice that items that food items that don't contain flour are taxed at a higher rate.

  • At 5/30/10, 2:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I live in washington state. The state constitution says tax on grocery store food items is illegal and it was upheld by the state supreme court in the 1970s. This is an end run around the state law. The definition of candy (according to them) is anything that contains a sweetener (including artificial and honey) and does not contain wheat flour and does not need refrigeration. Granola sweetened with honey is classified as candy for taxation purposes. Licorice, of course, is exempt because it contains wheat flour.

    According to how the law is written - raspberry jam, peanut butter with honey, sweetened instant oatmeal, chocolate covered dried strawberries are candy but chocolate covered pretzels are not.

    One power bar owner that uses oats, honey, nuts and all natural ingredients was informed her product is candy. Apparently the department of revenue has no concept that oats are also a grain.

    NOBODY - especially the state - can redefine what food is in order to place extra taxes on it - especially since the state constitution forbids it. Also - the state law does not prohibit taxing soda and it has always been taxed - although the state is now placing an extra 6.5% on it (on top of the 10% tax already on it) this includes diet soda - but not soda manufactured by a company that makes less than 10 million dollars a year - the increase tax is exempt on their products - while it will continue to be taxed at the old rate (how fair is this???)

    The tax will be on SOME beer - but not all. Mass produced beer will be taxed but microbrews will only have the old tax and not the increase (giving unfair advantage to state breweries)

    And for those who thinks water is free - bottled water will also be taxed. Bottled water tax was specifically made illegal by the washington state constitution yet they passed this bottle tax in disguise anyway.

    These taxes violate the washington state constitution and will hopefully be overturned. Socialist idiots have absolutely no right to redefine what food is in order to place taxes on items they do not wish others to consume - what others choose to eat is none of their business.

    BTW - restaurant food is already taxed - the state law only bans tax on grocery store food (except soda and alcohol is taxable)

    People in other states have no concept of the laws of washington state so their "opinions" and "we don't notice it" are irrelevant. The issue is that the new taxes are in violation of the washington state constitution which the state supreme court upheld on appeal in the 1970s. .... Just because you have an income tax doesn't make it wanted here either.


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