Las Vegas Sun

September 3, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

Why stop at a food tax?

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Regarding the story “Nevada assemblyman proposes fast food tax”:

If harmful human behavior, the eating of fast food, is the object of the tax, I can think of hundreds of other harmful human behaviors we could tax.

Texting while moving: If you can text from your phone, odds are it has a GPS. A simple software upgrade could send pertinent information to the cell service provider, who would add the tax your bill.

Fattening foods in grocery stores or restaurants: Nachos, cheeseburgers, sodas, beer, pizza, etc., at your favorite sports bar could be targets. A simple identifier in the UPC could trigger a tax at checkout.

Lack of exercise: Everyone has to clock in on their treadmill, step machine, etc., at home, their health club, walking trail or wherever. A similar piece of code could transmit the amount and intensity of exercise. Those not raising their heartbeat within their safe cardio zone for at least 30 minutes five days a week will find additional tax due when they pay their property tax bill.

As anyone can see, the suggestion that fast food and only fast food rates a sin tax is narrow and lacks imagination. Surely the assemblyman could raise millions more in investments by just doing an inventory of his own behavior as an example. Maybe legislation should require that local and state elected leaders be taxed by the dumb legislation they put forward.

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