Really…A 25 cent Sneaker Tax

SneakerWould you pay an additional twenty-five cents sneaker tax to fund a non-profit youth job training organization?   Illinois Representative Will Davis just introduced a bill to do this.  The recipient of the new tax if passed is the non-profit organization Youthbuild.  Youthbuild provides job training for disadvantage youth in sixteen locations across the State of Illinois.

Unlike speciality license plate programs, where it is an additional voluntary tax, this tax would be imposed on everyone who purchased shoes.  Looking down at my feet, I see that this would tax would be paid by everyone except maybe infants.  In addition, most people have more than one pair of shoes.

Is this the wave  of the future in many states?  Is it a way to nickel and dime taxpayers for additional fees and taxes to fund non-profit programs?  Should the non-profits figure out a to operate without Government funds.   Already if you purchase oil or tires in Tennessee and many states, there are additional fees associated with oil and tires.  When I saw the headline, my first thought was that they were going to charge a disposal fees for old shoes.  Already in Illinois, they already have additional taxes for services and products to pay for such programs as domestic violence and other programs.

Other questions to ask are, what is the success rate of placing disadvantage youth in job training programs?  What type of oversight will there be?  Is this a program that the State already has in place themselves?  If so, would the non-profit and the State program be competing for the same tax funding?

When it comes to State funding and non-profit programs, sometimes you get more than you bargained for with State oversight and regulations?   In other words, be careful of the wolf in sheep’s clothing.   So the question comes down to, would you willing to pay an additional .25 when you buy sneakers for the State of Illinois to fund a program for disadvantage youth training?  What are your thoughts?

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