We heard last week that New York Gov. Paterson is suggesting a modification to his ill-fated beverage tax proposal. The initial proposal would add a tax of a penny-per-ounce on sugar-sweetened beverages. The governor's latest suggestion would hold firm on this proposal, but also allow a sales tax exemption for diet beverages and bottled water.
Nelson Eusebio, chairman of New Yorkers Against Unfair Taxes, said the governor's modified proposal is still problematic for consumers and businesses alike. And with more than 20,000 signers on the coalition's petition, there are plenty of people that agree.
There is no unique link between soda consumption and obesity. This type of proposal makes us ask again, why single out one type of product? The solution to the public health issue of obesity isn’t to single out one product for additional taxation. It is much more complex than that, and it requires a comprehensive solution.
The tax would negatively impact consumers that are already doing more with less in this tough economy. It would also impact the 160,000 jobs supplied by the beverage industry in New York. The consequences of the beverage tax proposal counter what New Yorkers need - and want.