News Releases & Statements
Center for Science in the Public Interest Changing Its Tune: Pushes Tax Hike As a Money Grab to Fill State Budget Deficits
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 30, 2009
ABA Press Office
CENTER FOR SCIENCE IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST CHANGING ITS TUNE:
PUSHES TAX HIKE AS A MONEY GRAB TO FILL STATE BUDGET DEFICITS
In response to a paper issued today by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the American Beverage Association (ABA) issued the following statement:
"A tax on soda simply won't make people healthier - and it seems that our critics are starting to get it.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest is now proposing regressive taxes on juice drinks and soda as a primary revenue raiser to "trim state deficits" - a clear shift in motivation away from the obesity issue. . In a paper released today, CSPI advises 48 state governments facing budget deficits to impose a discriminatory tax on sugar-sweetened beverages in order to fill their general fund coffers.
This kind of thinking is exactly why Americans don't want government using the tax code to tell them what to eat or drink. Furthermore, there couldn't be a worse time to raise taxes on people. In an economy like this, the last thing government should be doing is raising taxes on the middle-class.
The bottom line remains that a soda tax simply won't work, particularly as a means to address obesity.
• A study by Harvard researchers and published in the New England Journal of Medicine earlier this year concluded that all calories count - regardless of the food source - when it comes to losing weight. This is just the latest study in the compendium of science shows that balancing calories consumed from all sources with calories burned through exercise is the key equation to weight maintenance.
• Only West Virginia and Arkansas have excise taxes on soda in place like the one being proposed by CSPI. Yet, according to the CDC, West Virginia and Arkansas also have among the ten highest rates of obesity in the nation. (CSPI is being disingenuous in alleging that 25 states impose special taxes on soda and sugar-sweetened beverages; in these states, taxes on soda are part of broad-based state sales taxes that are imposed on an array of consumer products from groceries to automobiles.)
• George Mason University researchers showed that a 15-cent tax added to a 75-cent can of soda would decrease the Body Mass Index of an obese person from 40 to 39.98. This miniscule reduction is not even measurable on a bathroom scale.
# # #
The American Beverage Association is the trade association representing the broad spectrum of companies that manufacture and distribute non-alcoholic beverages in the United States.