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A couple of years ago, there was a study estimating that if people were to reduce their sugary beverage consumption by around 20%, then the health benefits that they would reap would be something akin to giving them each a check between 0 or 0 each year. On the other hand, from an economist’s perspective, it’s not enough for something to have negative consequences to justify taxing it.Things like rock climbing have negative health consequences, potentially.
But sin taxes can disproportionately hurt lower-income consumers, while wealthy shoppers enjoy tax breaks on items only they can afford, such as energy-efficient windows and appliances.
Alcohol sales are only 0.2 percent of this, while tobacco sales and gambling revenue make up 0.9 percent.
Nevada was listed as number one on the list with 12 percent of annual state revenue coming from sin taxes, while West Virginia, a similar-sized state to Idaho, ranked number three at 8 percent.
A recent Pew Research Center report revealed that Idaho has some of the lowest revenue collected from sin taxes in the United States included in the total state budget, ranking 44th.
In terms of state revenue, sin taxes, also known as excise taxes, account for 2 percent of the state’s budget.