Soda tax proposed to pull NY out of $9.2 billion deficit

05/21/2010 // West Palm Beach, Florida, USA // Nicole Howley // Nicole Howley

New York, NY—On Thursday, May 20, 2010, New York Governor David Paterson proposed a way to generate $815 million annually to help close a $9.2 billion budget deficit. The governor proposed lifting the sales tax on diet soda, and implementing a new “sugar tax” to full-calorie drinks, as reported by Reuters.

The state legislature rejected an older version of the “soda tax” proposal, amid the beverage industries strong stance against it. Patterson revamped the proposal, which would make diet sodas cheaper while unhealthier and sugary drinks would rise in price.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg stated, “The new proposal will discourage consumption of high-calorie beverage while simultaneously making lower-calorie beverages more affordable, which will lead to major gains in public health.”

Health expert’s contend that two-thirds of the U.S. population, including one in three children, is over weight and considered obese. Non-diet sodas are one of the leading sources of excess calories being consumed by Americans, which is believed to be helping build the obesity epidemic.

An opponent of the proposal, Nelson Eusebio, the chairman of New Yorkers Against Unfair Taxes stated, “The plan was bad for business and bad for consumers. We don’t need another tax to fuel more government spending. No matter how he tries to package it, imposing a new $1 billion tax on already stretched New Yorkers is simply a bad idea.”

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for New York government lawyers.

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