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Sweet and Sour

by Kristine Tuinstra / /

Over the weekend, I came across this Seattle Times article.  While explained in a light-hearted manner, this is no laughing matter.  States like Washington, who have been struggling to balance their budgets, are looking to "sin taxes" to fill in the gap.  By legislating your habits, the Legislature plans to tap into your pocketbook even more. 

Patrick Gillespie, a employee of state's Department of Revenue audit division, has spent the last couple months compiling a list of candy that should be subject to a new state tax.  The goal was to determine whether or not the products contain flour.  If it does, then no need to hide your candy from big brother.  If it doesn't contain flour, you'll be paying an additional tax. 

Come June, Washington State will start charging sales tax on candy and gum as part of its $800 million tax package approved by the Legislature earlier this spring.  When state officials started discussing the tax and how to implement it, Gillespie offered to compile a list and determine where the state could raise revenue.  It's an arduous process: looking at the ingredient list of every single candy sold in the state.  He's been at it for months and hasn't finished.  I'm afraid this list will continue growing long after the June implementation date.