Monday, May 24, 2010

Soda Tax Uncaps a Fight

Soda taxes are becoming more and more popular among state and local governments. However, as this article on explains, the producers and sellers of sodas and sweetened beverages have increased their efforts to campaign against any new taxes. Check out a snippet of their article below, or for more information on soda taxes you can read this article I posted on my blog last month explaining the pros and cons of soda taxes.

Makers and sellers of soda and other sweet drinks have intensified a fight against proposed taxes on their products, as a growing number of cities and states are weighing the measures to help fill depleted coffers.

A soft-drink bottler offered what it called a $10 million good-will-gesture donation for health and recreation programs in Philadelphia, as city officials there considered a proposal for an excise tax to help plug a budget hole and fight obesity. The tax, proposed by Philadelphia's Democratic Mayor Michael Nutter, would amount to two cents an ounce on soda and other sweet drinks.

Industry officials are also considering trying to organize a referendum in Washington State to repeal a three-year excise tax on carbonated beverages of two cents on every 12 ounces.

The moves come as officials in at least 20 cities and states have proposed new taxes or the removal of tax exemptions on non-alcoholic beverages so far this year. The beverage industry has spent millions of dollars since 2009 on lobbying and advertising against proposed taxes, including a federal tax initially proposed as part of the health-care reform bill.

So far, few such taxes have actually been imposed. The final federal health overhaul didn't include a soft-drink tax. And while several state and city legislators initially expressed enthusiasm for new soda taxes, only Washington State has approved a new excise tax on soda thus far, while Colorado removed a sales-tax exemption.

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