If Washington, D.C., is going to demand that local governments upgrade their sewer systems, then Washington, D.C., should help pay for the improvements.
The extra 10 cents on every roll of toilet paper was one of the ideas from Omaha, Neb., Mayor Jim Suttle, who's looking for ways to help pay his city's $1.7 billion federally mandated sewer project cost.
Given the linking of taxes and bathroom humor, the tax toilet paper proposal pops up across the country now and then.
Suttle admits that he got the idea from a Oregon lawmaker who suggested a similar plan a couple of years ago as a way to help cities and the environment. But the Midwest mayor thinks the time might actually be right for such a tax.
He could have a point.
Use taxes tend to be more accepted by the voters public.
The toilet paper levy also has some hallmarks of the ever popular sin tax strategy.
No, using the facilities isn't a sin, but the toilet paper tax shares some similarities of, say, such specific fees on cigarettes and sugar-sweetened beverages.
The product being taxed -- toilet paper -- ties in nicely with the project -- sewer system -- needing financing.
And the levy doesn't discriminate against one segment of taxpayers since everyone (we hope!) uses the bathroom tissue.
"If you have to pick your poison, which poison is best?" asked John S. McCollister, executive director of the conservative think tank The Platte Institute. "User fees seem the fairest type of tax. The person receiving the benefit should be the person paying for that benefit."
I can see another supporter of a federal toilet paper tax: Costco. Think of the crowds that would head to the warehouse discounter to stock up on lower-priced rolls.
- Toilet paper tax headed to court
- Kmart loses toilet paper tax lawsuit
- Gift idea for tax geeks: tax form toilet paper
- State tax revenue going up in no smoke
- Cigarette taxes rise
- The wages of sin (taxes) is health care
- Bye-bye Bo-Tax, hello Tan Tax
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