But I just saw this article which suggests that in Illinois, there is going to be a 25 cent tax on gym shoes.
The idea is that the money would be used to fund programs that help low income, high-school dropouts to get job in the construction trades or eventually get them back into college.
To tell you the truth, I don’t mind taxes. Especially if the money is used for a good purpose like this one. Plus, when a pair of shoes costs $100, is anyone really going to notice an extra 25 cents? I don’t think so. Even a frequent shoe buyer like me will at most spend an extra $1 a year. It won’t affect my life at all.
My only problem is that economics demonstrates that taxing a behavior is the way to reduce that behavior. So, taxing gym shoes may have the effect of reducing the number of people who buy gym shoes. And that may reduce the number of people who get out and exercise which would be terrible.
Why don’t they put this tax on all shoes rather than single out a single type of shoe? Or maybe tax other types of clothes. I wouldn’t want to see anything that discourages people from exercising.
As I said, 25 cents isn’t going to kill anyone so it’s unlikely that a shoe tax will have much impact on whether people buy shoes or not. Hopefully, people keep running and the funded program is successful.
PS. I hope they don’t institute a juggling bean bag tax!