This, I think, is the first time I have ever seen a story like this:
Hong Kong's government abolished taxes on wine and beer after posting a record surplus, boosting efforts to turn the city into a wine-trading hub. The tariffs will be abolished immediately, costing the city government HK$560 million ($72 million) in annual tax revenue, Financial Secretary John Tsang said today in his budget speech.No small matter given "as much as a quarter of the $200 million to $400 million of wine sold at international auctions is bought by Hong Kong residents. This may be a move focused on developing internal wine trade but, given that China's beer consumption could be taking off, it could have a beneficial effect on that market as well.
But aside from that, what a refreshing sight - the end of a Pigovian tax. While there is no lack of interest in them - and aside from their high rate of creating greater ills - these sin taxes never actually seem to achieve their own end: the reduction of the sin in question. A variety of related forms of death reduced smoking far more effectively than a tax ever did. And sales of drinks have never been as robust. "Pttuie, Pigovianism!!!" says I. So raise a drink to the anti-Pigovians of Hong Kong and take up the anti-Pigovian cause in your town.