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 to find out what you can do to fight the tax.