America’s beverage companies provide good jobs and economic opportunities to communities nationwide. In addition to manufacturing and distribution jobs, our industry helps support restaurants, grocery stores and movie theatres that depend, in part, on beverage sales as part of their bottom line.
Yet, some policymakers still seek to place a discriminatory tax on beverages – which has the potential to impact the employment of the men and women who elected them.
Furthermore, real world experience shows that taxes aren’t the solution to the complex issue of obesity. And when it comes to the many ways in which some in the public health community are “selling” the benefits of soda taxes, there’s simply more myth than fact. For example, soda taxes have overwhelmingly failed in cities and states across the country over the last few years, and poll after poll has shown that these taxes are unpopular with voters. But don’t just take our word for it.
In Vermont, where the legislature may consider a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, a resident who owns and runs a family market recently wrote:
I implore you to start with education to help Vermonters that struggle with obesity. All consumers could benefit from the promotion of active and healthy lifestyles and a better understanding of nutritional choices. Don’t start with a tax policy which studies show will drive people to products with the same caloric value or out-of-state.
…Please protect our downtowns, our historical general stores and independent small business owners. Vote down the sugar sweetened beverage tax.
Bottom line: discriminatory taxes hurt local business – and they don’t make people healthier.