Thursday, February 07, 2008

Score One For the Good Guys

N.H. House kills bottle, container tax

CONCORD — A proposed 1 cent tax on beverage containers in New Hampshire is dead.


The extra penny per container would have been charged to wholesalers. The House voted it down Wednesday afternoon despite exemptions for milk, baby formula, wine and liquor. The tax would have applied to soda, juices and bottled water.

Supporters tried to pass the penny off as a small fee that would pay for programs to manage trash and for recycling efforts by the state and communities.

Behold, the biggest load of crap ever to be smeared over the eyes of a public all to willing to lap this shit up - this "promise" that a small tax of X percent is needed to fund program Z, a program which, without fail will be geared toward helping The ChildrenTM, feeding homeless kittens, saving the planet from a fiery death, or whatever the PC cause celebre du jour happens to be at the time.

After a year's time (well beyond the memory capacity of the average voter) that X percent tax will become X+Y percent, and when the voters are told that this tax increase will be needed to offset budget shortfalls brought on by Programs A, B, and C, no one will so much as bat an eye.

And, why should they? None of them will even remember what Program Z was in the first place.

Revenue from any statewide tax goes to one place only - the fund used to pay down the balance on the state's no-limit, taxpayer-funded Visa card. Where that money actually goes is solely dependent on the whims of those holding office at the time the next annual state budget gets hammered out.

"Pick up your bag from your household waste," said Bristol Republican Burton Williams. "What's mostly in there? Bottles, cans. That's the biggest part of what we're throwing away."

Williams said consumers are paying to throw away trash. The bill simply charges them before they throw, he said.

Opponents had none of it.

"We can put it in a dress. We can put it in a pair of pants, but make no mistake about it, it is a tax," said Londonderry Republican Sherman Packard.

Opponents said it wasn't fair to tax the beverage industry when its products are more likely to be recycled than many others. They said the tax would put New Hampshire businesses at a competitive disadvantage with those from nearby states.

"We don't need to do anything more to help business in other states competing against us," said Merrimack Republican Peyton Hinkle.

One would think.