Texans would pay more than 10 percent sales tax each time they purchase cookies, popcorn, soda, cakes, pies, pastries, tortes, chips, and nuts not bought in restaurants. The bill would help pay for a proposed one-third reduction in school property taxes as apart of an overhaul of the way Texas pays for public schools.
The 3 percent snack tax-¯which lawmakers included specifically to target obesity¯would be added to the general sales tax charged for those items. The bill also raises the general state sales tax from 6.25 percent to 7.25 percent, which would be the highest state rate in the country. Also, it calls for businesses to pay a payroll tax of 1.15 percent on each employee's salary up to $90,000 per worker.
Organizations like the Don't Tax Food Coalition and the Grocery Manufacturers of America aren't so sweet on the bill. They argue that such legislation discriminates against consumer choice and notes that every state that has enacted a similar tax has since repealed it.