NYS Soda Tax Losing Fizz

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According to a report by the AP, the proposed “soda tax” does not look like it has enough fizz to pass the NYS Senate.

Mayor Bloomberg, Governor Paterson and the health commissioner had campaigned heavily to have the bill passed, for two reasons: the first as a way to combat obesity, and secondly, to raise much needed funds for the state.

The report says that a number of Democratic senators are opposed to the bill, as well as the entire Republican conference. “With a 31-30 Democrat-Republican split in the chamber, the measure isn’t expected to draw the minimum 32 votes needed for passage.”

If the bill were to become law, it would add a penny for each ounce of soda (and other sugary drinks) that contain less than 70 percent fruit juice.

Last week, Bloomberg spoke on 1010WINS Radio and  noted that “Albany has been in the news a lot in recent days – for distressing reasons. In the process, key issues have fallen off State government’s radar screen” Bloomberg called on the legislature to get back to work – immediately. The mayor said that includes closing a looming, $1.9 billion gap in funding for healthcare for the poor, and a $1.4 billion gap in state education aid that threatens big setbacks for our children’s schools and said that a fast and easy way to do so would be to enact a one cent per ounce tax on beverages with high sugar content, which he says would not only help to bridge a huge budget gap, but also help to fight obesity.

I’m urging Albany to take one simple step to avert this crisis: Setting a penny-per-ounce tax on heavily sweetened sodas and beverages, and dedicating the revenue to education and Medicaid,” said Bloomberg. “An extra 12 cents on a can of soda would raise nearly $1 billion, allowing us to keep community health services open and teachers in the classroom. And, at the same time, it would help us fight a major problem plaguing our children: obesity.

The bill is expected to generate $1 billion annually, and reduce consumption of the drinks by 15 percent.

(Dov Gordon – YWN)


10 COMMENTS

  1. PachadYitzchakFan:

    Hmm, let’s see. How about a 50% tax on a 2-liter bottle of soda (on top of current state and local taxes, plus bottle deposit)…that seems a pretty good reason to me.

  2. Mr. Bloomberg you should be ashamed of your self for even suggesting a new tax at this economic time. I know once a liberal will always stay a liberal no matter what. Instead of figuring out how to help suffering New Yorkers you looking to chock us with more and more government control and ridiculous taxes. How about cutting the under performing public schools, and stop threatening us with Fire departments and security personal cut downs. DO what the government supposed to do is to assure our security and nothing else. I’m very happy that this TAX hike proposal is going to die.

  3. Dear Gregaaron

    Just like the cigarette tax cut down on smoking, wouldn’t this help to cut down drinking unhealthy drinks?

  4. No PachadYitzchakFan it’s not the taxes that do it, its education of people. And in many cases the people want to take care of them selves that is why people stop smoking. Also now already many have started slowly to drink less all of that sweet stuff. The main thing you should remember IT’S NOT GOVERNMENTS JOB. The politicians should stop being our health police and just make sure we are safe and secure.

  5. Nobody should be penalized for choosing to live and eat as one sees fit. Not the individual consumer who chooses to buy a coke or a pack of cigarettes and not the privately held companies (who support America with their taxes) by taxing their products out of sales.

    We better hope the government doesn’t decide to tax shmura matzo by the ounce due to the possible carcinogens found in the burnt edges.

  6. Dear FlatbushBubby and rsofer

    Do you think they should repeal the cigarette tax?
    This may be taking it a bit further, but do you think it is wrong to criminalize the use of marijuana, because we have individual liberties?
    All the best.

  7. PachadYitzchakFan I think they should repeal all taxes except for either a flat (or possibly two tiered)income tax, or a flat sales tax, all other taxes should be outlawed.

    As far as legalizing drugs, that is a different thing from raising or lowering taxes.

    Certain things (like drugs) do not harm just the user but they also harm those around the user.

    If Pot were legalized, it would be illegal discrimination for a company to test it’s employees for it, then the company would by liable when the doped up driver, of a company truck, killed someone.

    If you would argue that for such things, testing would remain legal I’d say you’d lose because the lawyers for the Pot smokers organizations would have a field day vilifying everyone who was for testing of any kind, and they would have muultibillin dollar campaigns to convince everyone to make sure all testing was outlawed.

  8. PachadYitzchakFan, you are making an invidious comparison.

    Taxes are not necessarily revenue generating. They are the exact opposite. They decentivize people from purchasing particular items. Marijuana on the other hand is proven to be a mind numbing drug that can lead to other more heinous crimes. So, to compare marijuana to cigarettes is bogus. You obviously are not familiar with conservative government principles. Keep on blogging on to this website and you may learn a thing or two.