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Water tax - Mark's Journal
Water tax
That's not quite an accurate way to put it, but the New York State legislature just approved a state budget that, among other changes, expands the state's beverage container deposit law to include bottled water. I guess we should all stock up on cases of bottled water before that goes into effect! (Not that I use bottled water that much, but it's nice to have around.)
11 comments or Leave a comment
fabunobo From: fabunobo Date: March 29th, 2009 03:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
I drink bottled seltzer which I believe was already taxable. I believe the law was previously something like: anything that is carbonated OR containes more than X% sugar. Or something like that. But it has been decades since I worked in a supermarket.
mhaithaca From: mhaithaca Date: March 29th, 2009 03:44 pm (UTC) (Link)

It was all carbonated beverages, so included seltzer and soda but not iced tea or juice or Gatorade or water. It sounds as though the iced tea lobby succeeded in keeping the current move restricted to water; they were considering expanding it to all single-serve beverage containers.
fabunobo From: fabunobo Date: March 29th, 2009 05:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, you've confused me by putting "tax" in your title and then clarifying later that you are talking about a "deposit." Wow! I am so exhausted. My reading comprehansion and attention span is nearing zero.

My original point was that carbonated beverages (regardless of sugar content) were always sales taxable and all other beverages were taxable if they were above X% of sugar. So orange juice is not sales taxable but Hi-C - and I assume iced tea - are.

And I am guilty as charged. I never redeem my bottle deposits. The hassle (and gas!) does not seem like worth a nickel to me. Since I take the bus most of the time, making a special trip with my car to get fifteen cents seems ludicrous. I do crush them dowm and put them in the recycle bin.
ianwsmith From: ianwsmith Date: March 29th, 2009 03:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
How is it a tax if you get your money back after returning the receptacle?
mhaithaca From: mhaithaca Date: March 29th, 2009 03:49 pm (UTC) (Link)

Well, that's why I said it wasn't really an accurate characterization, but the net effect, and the intent of the change, is that a huge portion of the deposits will never be redeemed. That's why the state is doing this. They know that most deposit containers now aren't being redeemed, and they're relying on the same remaining true for this. It ends up being extra, unearned income for the state.
fabunobo From: fabunobo Date: March 29th, 2009 05:18 pm (UTC) (Link)


Now that I think about your point, recylcing laws probably were a big boon to the state in revenue for this reason. I assume there are a lot of people as lazy as I am but willing to recycle ... which was the original intent of the deposit law - to keep the containers out of the landfill.
blaisepascal From: blaisepascal Date: March 29th, 2009 07:09 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Heh

The real original reason wasn't to keep the containers out of the landfill as much as to keep the containers off the roadsides. A tremendous amount of cans and bottles were littered before the bottle bill, which was pushed (and successful) as an environmental bill.
chesther From: chesther Date: March 29th, 2009 05:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Time to buy a new Brita pitcher, methinks.
mhaithaca From: mhaithaca Date: March 30th, 2009 08:22 am (UTC) (Link)

I just drink the tap water straight from the tap... I only have a Brita pitcher for Charlie's water, since she's much pickier than I am. :-)
helianthas From: helianthas Date: March 29th, 2009 09:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think it's a fabulous idea, to have a deposit on the water bottles. Might get people to think twice about buying so much freakin water in plastic bottles and hopefully cut down on it. (I adore my SIGG refillable bottle...) Also encourage people to return or at least recycle more. For the person below who doesn't like to return, there are TONS of people in SF and I'm sure in ithaca who'd be happy to take those bottles to return for ya...

(I love how, one summer in Long Island, where I worked as a camp counselor with about 5 other people, at the end of the summer we had enough bottle returns to fuel an entire pizza party for us. Yay!)
kukla_red From: kukla_red Date: March 30th, 2009 11:48 am (UTC) (Link)
I think this is a great idea. I never thought that non-carbonated beverages should have been exempt from the deposit rule.
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