In Iowa, cans and plastic bottles get a 5-cent deposit. We’ve had this for nearly 30 years. Today (Saturday) the Des Moines Register  reports that our Democratic Governor Chet Culver is suggesting we double it… and rework how the money is managed. From the Register:
HOW THE CURRENT SYSTEM WORKS: Beverage distributors charge retailers the 5-cent deposit when they deliver the bottles and cans. When the distributors pick up the returned items, they must pay the retailer 6 cents — 5 cents for the deposit and a 1-cent handling fee. The distributors get to keep any unredeemed deposits. Under the new program, officials said the state would receive the unredeemed deposits.
Personally, I don’t see a need for this change. Today, consumers get the whole nickel back that they gave… the new idea would be a dime, but the consumer only gets 8-cents back. That looks like a 2-cent tax or surcharge. Since 1-cent would go to the distributer, I don’t know, how about we let the distributer just charge a penny more for the product? And the governor can find some other way to tax us.
The reason for add a nickel is pretty simple… a lot of cans and bottles never get returned. The state would not just get an extra penny, but since the the state would take the unredeemed deposits as well, it’s more cash for the state. I think the distributors need to band together with the taxpayers to kick this idea can away.
Coming along at the same time is talk about raising the sales tax across the state to help fund schools. Which sounds nice, but I think we end up taking money from communities and redistribute in a disproportionate manner in that case. I have yet to see a good reason for this change in taxes either… I’m guessing we’ll end up with some of the extra money going somewhere else instead of the schools (politicians wouldn’t do that, would they?). We’re just going to keep raising taxes without paying attention, and spending the money on junk because the money needs to be spent. It’s a wicked game.