Law School Discussion

What do you think about sin taxes?

Gengiswump

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Re: What do you think about sin taxes?
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2007, 02:12:21 PM »
Evil. The government isn't deterring anything. They're putting a tax on something that they know they can get away with because they're selling it as a "sin" tax...


Tobacco puts a burden on the health systems.

Taxing tobacco to pay for public health perhaps forces tobacco users to pay the real cost of the product.

Free market for the win?

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Alcohol is a significant factor in traffic accidents and deaths.

Taxing alcohol to pay for either 1) anti-drunk driving campaigns or 2) drunk driving enforcement perhaps forces alcohol users to pay the real cost of the product.

Free market for the win?

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Gimme more.

(I can't think of one for prostitution, btw).

I can think of some uses for tax dollars from prostitution: enforcement of unregulated prostitution, health screening of those working in prostitution, and ensuring a safe work environment.

I believe he was saying he can't think of a major societal detriment or burden clearly resulting specifically from prostitution, not a use that could be derived from any tax dollars that could be garnered from same.

Re: What do you think about sin taxes?
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2007, 02:25:16 PM »
If we decriminalize all of these vices for the purpose of taxing them, then the Indian reservations would be able to sell them minus the federal taxes. 

Plus, if the feds tax cigarettes and stuff too much then people will begin looking elsewhere (black markets, Canada, Mexico, etc.)  The government can only tax an item so much before it was cause parallel markets. 

I think tobacco and alcohol are gross and that they are bad for society (as is prostitution), however where do we draw the line in what the government can and cannot tax for deterrence or for the "betterment of society"?  The have been proposals to increase taxes on fatty foods because they cause obesity.