A proposal that would have placed a selective tax on snack foods was rejected at a hearing in the Committee on Revenue of the Nebraska State Legislature.
President and CEO of the Snack Food Association Jim McCarthy told legislators the tax bill should be opposed because selectively taxing food products has proved to be regressive and confusing.
"Snack taxes diminish the purchasing power of lower income families and create an extra burden for small business operators who have to determine what foods are subject to the tax, collect it, and send the proceeds to the state," he said.
Unpopular measures of this kind have been rescinded in Maryland and California. The only remaining state that has a snack tax, Maine, is poised to repeal its version either by legislative action or referendum before the end of 2000.
McCarthy also contended there is no rational basis for taxing certain foods over others. "States should not be using an arbitrary tax to dictate to consumers which foods are `snacks' and which foods are not."