Getting state money, one wrapper at a time

San Francisco officials say the city’s fast-food litter has gotten out of control. Thousands of impromptu picnics on bus benches, in public parks, and on city sidewalks have left the landscape riddled with abandoned wrappers, napkins and bags.

The question is, who should pay to clean it all up? San Francisco politicians want to add a fee at the restaurant register to cover the costs of fast-food trash removal. It’s a potentially lucrative proposal: a similar tax on cigarettes of 20 cents a pack was added to offset the cost of cleaning up cigarette litter, and that fee will generate about $2.5 million during the fiscal year-not exactly chump change.

“Fast-food wrappers are really the next biggest identifiable source [of litter],” Department of Public Works Director Ed Reiskin told the Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee. The proposal will be considered in the next few months, officials say.

It’s creative thinking from a city that’s facing major budget trouble: San Francisco is looking at a $400 million deficit next year alone. But will residents balk at the idea? After all, the majority of consumers don’t litter, so the fee would essentially be paying for the transgressions of the minority. And adding a tax to food that’s intended to be low-cost is sure to rile up the industry. Which, y’know, is always good for public relations.

April 15 is almost here, better drink up

Just a reminder to all the tanked out there: your taxes are due next week. You might want to think about filing them. One good reason is that it allows you to get your tax return back. We know what that means–booze money.

There’s another good reason, especially if you live in New Jersey. You can have your taxes done for you while you’re hanging out at a bar. CPA Carmine Sodora can take care or your W2s while you get wasted. We all know it would certainly take the pain out of doing your own taxes, which drives you to drink anyway. This way, you don’t have to feel bad about doing so, or explain to the IRS audit guy why your penmanship gets sloppier and sloppier as you go down the page.

A tax increase on pints? Blimey!

If there’s one thing this blog likes to do, it’s get all fired up about one of the topics we feel isn’t getting reported or not been reported fairly. Today, we get our dander up over alcohol, and the creeping fascism that seeks to destroy it once and for all.

In Britain, long known for its beverage-related tyranny, is now trying to oppress the drunks that stagger among them. The U.K.’s treasury chief raised taxes on beer. There are many things citizens in the U.K. can take (like financially supporting an antiquated and purely ceremonial lineage under the guise of a ruling status), but a beer tax is too much for boozing Britons to stand–well, if they were sober enough to stand.

In response to this clearly unreasonable taxation with representation, the citizens are mounting an Internet campaign, a “whiskey rebellion,” if you will, against Allistair Darling, the treasury chief. All over the country, pubs are putting up signs saying they will not serve Darling in their establishments. This blog firmly supports the movement, and hopes that our British, Scottish, Welsh and Cornish cousins will soon break free from the chains of oppression, so that they may one day sit down in a pub and drink their grog without fear of government intrusion.