Well, in the very unlikely event that this tax actually passes, I'm sure that other cities would be tempted to do the same. I can't see this really happening, though. It's just asking for legal challenges. In the first place, what, exactly, will be considered "fast food"? Some comments from critics (from the same article):
The Mayor's office hasn't released too many details about this fast-food tax but one basic question is about how they differentiate between a McDonald's or a Wendy's or a casual dining chain like Chili's that also sells curbside and offers takeout . . .
Defining what is and isn't 'fast-food' per se is a difficult task in itself . . .
I don't think it's really "discriminatory" as just sort of goofy. If the city needs more money, why not just an increased tax on all
restaurant purchases. The proposed addition of a 2% tax on fast food is unlikely to have any effect on what food someone chooses to eat. Fast food is generally cheaper, so it's not like the increased tax would make somebody choose to go a sit-down restaurant instead of a burger joint.
This might not be "political suicide," but it sounds like it will hurt a mayor who is already unpopular. From the same article:
Critics said Kilpatrick, who Time magazine recently included in its 2005 list of America's worst mayors, shouldn't expect consumers to applaud his creative thinking.
It sounds more like desperation on the part of His Honor than anything else.
I have no clue if the mayor even saw Super Size Me
, but I suspect he was more influenced by the city's need for money. Maybe it's inexperience; I've seen it claimed that Kilpatrick is the youngest mayor of a major US city.
In any case, this doesn't seem like a good idea at all.