Concept: Taxation in the United States
Taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) meant to improve health and raise revenue are being adopted, yet evaluation is scarce. This study examines the association of the first penny per ounce SSB excise tax in the United States, in Berkeley, California, with beverage prices, sales, store revenue/consumer spending, and usual beverage intake.
Increasing tobacco excise taxes and implementing comprehensive smoke-free laws are two of the most effective population-level strategies to reduce tobacco use, prevent tobacco use initiation, and protect nonsmokers from secondhand smoke. We examined state laws related to smoke-free buildings and to cigarette excise taxes from 2000 through 2014 to see how implementation of these laws from 2000 through 2009 differs from implementation in more recent years (2010-2014).
Open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the most ambitious attempt to expand health coverage in the United States in decades, began October 1, 2013. The law offers Medicaid eligibility to citizens and qualified legal immigrants with incomes at or below 138% of the federal poverty level in participating states and tax credits for private insurance purchased via marketplaces for persons not eligible for Medicaid who have incomes between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level.(1) The effect of these provisions on insurance coverage . . .
To illustrate the burden of high cigarette excise taxes on low-income smokers.
Cigarette excise taxes are an effective tobacco control strategy but they vary geographically due to differences in state and local taxation. There are also pronounced sociodemographic differences in community composition, suggesting that different population groups might face vastly different cigarette excise tax rates. In this study, we examine how cigarette excise tax rates differ for population groups defined by race, ethnicity, poverty status, and sexual orientation, and how these differences have evolved over time. We constructed annual cigarette tax rates in 109 mutually exclusive jurisdictions within the United States (U.S.) between 2006 and 2014. After merging with Census sociodemographic data, we calculated annual cigarette excise tax exposures for each population group as the average of each place-based tax, weighted by the proportion of the group living there. In 2014, the average U.S. resident was required to pay $2.68 in cigarette taxes, more than 60% of which was due to state and local taxation. On average, Asian/Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander populations faced the highest average tax ($2.95), which was $0.44 more than American Indian populations. Local taxes disproportionately augmented state and federal taxes for non-White populations, same-sex couples, and people living in poverty. Geographic variation in cigarette excise taxes produces sociodemographic variation in cigarette tax exposure. Raising cigarette taxes specifically in those places where groups at risk for tobacco-related disease are more likely to live, or otherwise creating geographically uniform tax levels, could reduce important disparities in cigarette smoking.
We report results from a large online randomised tax experiment in Guatemala. The trial involves short messages and choices presented to taxpayers as part of a CAPTCHA pop-up window immediately before they file a tax return, with the aim of priming honest declarations. In total our sample includes 627,242 taxpayers and 3,232,430 tax declarations made over four months. Treatments include: honesty declaration; information about public goods; information about penalties for dishonesty, questions allowing a taxpayer to choose which public good they think tax money should be spent on; or questions allowing a taxpayer to state a view on the penalty for not declaring honestly. We find no impact of any of these treatments on the average amount of tax declared. We discuss potential causes for this null effect and implications for ‘online nudges’ around honesty priming.
About half of all US states have cigarette minimum price laws (MPLs) that require a per cent mark-up on prices, but research suggests they may not be very effective in raising prices. An alternative type of MPL sets a floor price below which packs cannot be sold, and may be more promising. This new type of MPL policy has only been implemented in 1 city, therefore its benefits relative to excise taxes is difficult to assess.
Despite strong evidence that increasing alcohol taxes reduces alcohol-related harm, state alcohol taxes have declined in real terms during the past 3 decades. Opponents of tax increases argue that they are unfair to “responsible” drinkers and those who are financially disadvantaged. The objectives of this study were to assess the impact of hypothetical state alcohol tax increases on the cost of alcohol for adults in the United States on the basis of alcohol consumption and sociodemographic characteristics.
We describe the patterns of coverage gains associated with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) expansions and use these patterns to assess the potential impact of alternative repeal or repeal and replace strategies because Congress and the president are weighing options to repeal or replace the ACA. We find that specific provisions of the ACA, including the Medicaid expansion and the structure of premium subsidies, have been associated with large and robust gains in insurance coverage. We evaluate the impact of retaining dependent coverage and high-risk pool provisions and show, on the basis of the ACA experience, that these provisions would have little effect on coverage. We find that many replacement proposal components, including flat tax credits and maintaining cost savings provisions, could jeopardize the ability of many of the ACA’s primary beneficiaries, as well as other Americans, to access coverage and care. By leading to a deterioration of the safety net, these strategies could also imperil population health activities. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print February 16, 2017: e1-e3. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2017.303665).
Predictions of major increases in premiums for health insurance plans offered on the exchanges are overblown. Given the rate review, competition, and tax credits built into the ACA, consumers are not likely to be paying vastly more for their coverage in 2017.