decimals are destiny
I never saw anyone comment on the wording of that. The referenda was not proposing cutting the drink tax in half. That would have meant going from 10% to 5%. It proposed going from 10% to 0.5%. That's zero point five percent. In other words, cutting the tax rate to 1/20th of what it currently is set at or an incidence of 1/200th the sales price. Why wouldn't you just propose eliminating the tax altogether. I bet at 0.5% the cost of collecting and administering the tax may not even equal the revenues it brings in. It makes no sense on its surface.
So why do it? The only reason that makes sense to me to propose a tax rate a sliver above zero is that it might have confused some who would take the Solomonic position that the tax ought to be reduced, but not eliminated; that something in the middle would work out all around. But cutting a tax to 1/20th of the current rate is not near any definition of the middle and is tantamount to eliminating it altogether. On a $4 drink, the tax would be 2 pennies. I know pennies add up, but that really might have come in below the administrative costs of a new tax. I have no idea is there was any justification for the rate of 10%, but it's hard to figure what rationale there could be for 0.5% vice 0.1% or 0.9% or something else.
I really have no comment on whether the tax ought to be there or not.. maybe it should be eliminated. I'm not a big fan of the fictitious debate that has been set up between a drink tax and transit, but any referendum ought to be clear.