Friday, September 20, 2013

Sin Tax

The latest trial balloon floated to get Scranton out of its deep, deep financial hole is a drink tax.

You can guess how that's going over.

Gasoline is heavily taxed.  We still drive.  Cigarettes are heavily taxed.  We still smoke.  Alcohol is heavily taxed.  We still drink.

Our friends at the Times~Tribune talked with bar owners, who fear catastrophe if Scranton gets a drink tax.

Calm down.

I've never been overly concerned about sin taxes.  If smoking and drinking cost too much, just don't do it.  I'm amazed at the number of people who cry poverty, but who still plunk down more than $5 for a pack of cigarettes.

As for the bar owners, I'm sure you might see a decrease in business, but there are ways around that.  Offer food.  Sell better food.  Have better entertainment and atmosphere.  The good bars survive.  The bad ones won't.  Step up your game.

It's clear Scranton has to do something.  Things cannot continue as they are.  You have leaders who make bad decisions.  Band aids are applied to problems.  There are no long term plans.  Efforts to increase revenue were shot down by the courts because the city went into hearings with sloppy presentations.

A drink tax might be the first small sip from the well of common sense.