Wednesday, July 05, 2017

No surprise: Chicago bag tax bringing in less revenue than expected

Abandoned store on
Chicago's South Side
I live five miles from Chicago's city limits--and I make it a point not to shop for groceries there, as does Mrs. Marathon Pundit. The sales tax there is already one-percent more than it is in the suburb where I live. And Chicago has the nation's highest sales tax rate.

And the taxing does not stop there. For instance, Chicago started collecting a new seven-cents per plastic or paper bag tax on New Year's Day, which was put in place to regulate behavior. Yes, another sin tax. But as I've written many times before, social engineering taxes always fall short of revenue forecasts. Take smoking. When tobacco taxes are hiked some people smoke less or even quit, or they buy their cigarettes elsewhere. And politicians, especially in spend-a-holic places like Chicago, already know how they are going to spend its new revenue. And when the revenue falls short, the spending level of course doesn't decrease. So other taxes go up. Which is one of the reasons why Chicago is the only major city with negative population growth.

As for that bag tax, Chicago officials estimated--or should I say guessed?--that over $9 million would be added to the city's coffers by this tax in 2017.

So far, the Chicago Sun-Times reports, just $2.4 million has been raked in since January 1.

Why? Some people are using their own bags, of course. But how many people are avoiding Chicago altogether and shopping exclusively in the suburbs now?

What about people shopping with food stamps? Whatever SNAP card spenders pay for is exempt from the bag tax.

Decline and fall.

1 comment:

Rhonda said...

John Stossel did a report on this a long time ago. It is bad science like most everything from the left. I for one like many others always reuse the bags given to me from the grocery store for trash bags in my small trash cans around my house. When the grocery stores stopped giving them out guess what people started buying? Small trash bags! It makes me sick that politicians are sucking at the tax payers tit to come up with worthless legislation instead of doing the hard work of fixing Illinois.