Oakland, CA adds "Fast Food Tax" to help garbage cleanup

Posted on February 9, 2006 by

article today describing Oakland's attempts to cub the cost of litter by taxing fast food restaurants. They are not putting a tax on the food, but on the restaurant, based on size. It amounts to an average tax of about 63 cents per day for restaurants, all the money from which will go toward salaries of cleanup workers in the city.

The Oakland Chamber of Commerce doesn't like it, saying that the tax will be passed on to customers, many of whom are low-income.

OK, I'm a left-wing, tree-hugging, small “L” liberal who can (and will) debate the need for society to help the poor with the hardest, crustiest, cold-blooded right-wingnuts out there, but I don't believe what I heard…

If I am a “low-income” person or family, I should be buying groceries and eating them at home, not wasting my few dollars at Rotten Ronnie's choking down a burger and fries. The cost of picking up all the litter is being carried by the city, which has to tax the people to pay the workers, so one way or the other, they will have to pay. I would rather see a tax on the fast food restaurants, that way it is paid by those who eat there.

Now along this line (this is where I get a little more radical…), to make people start re-using mugs or thermoses and cut down on litter, the government needs to step in and add an incentive such as imposing a tax on all disposable cups (i.e. Tim Hortons, McDonalds, etc.).

Of course, this is just my opinion! -) >

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