In a recent Op-Ed in The Valley Breeze, Steve Arthurs, chair of the Rhode Islanders Against the Beverage Tax coalition and president and CEO of the Rhode Island Food Dealers Association, points out a number of reasons to oppose the proposed soda tax in Rhode Island. The tax would place an immense burden on the hard-working families and business owners of Rhode Island.
As Arthurs writes in his Op-Ed,
“The last thing we as Rhode Islanders need is another tax. Our state is burdened with some of the highest taxes in the country - sales taxes, property taxes, and gas taxes. We are maxed out on taxes in Rhode Island and can't afford to pay any more. Rhode Island's unemployment is at a staggering 11 percent - only a few states in the U.S. have a higher unemployment rate. We need to focus on resolving that instead of new taxes on beverages.”
Beverage taxes boil down to one thing: a money grab – a misguided quick fix for budget deficits. While we agree that addressing Rhode Island’s budget shortfall is important, it’s not right to place the burden on the backs of hard-working Rhode Islanders. The proposed 1-cent per ounce excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages would hurt consumers, businesses and beverage manufacturers and distributors.
For our Rhode Island followers, check in at www.NoRhodeIslandBeverageTax.com to find out what you can do to fight the tax.