For Immediate Release
New York State Tax on Soda Cheered by CSPI
Statement of CSPI Executive Director Michael F. Jacobson
WASHINGTON - The first point you should consider when weighing soda taxes? Soda
consumption harms taxpayers. Taxpayers in New York State and elsewhere
are already paying a heavy price for out-of-control soda consumption,
since taxpayers subsidize much of the treatment of obesity, diabetes,
and other expensive health problems.
Those health problems put an enormous strain on state and
federal budgets, in some cases, nearly to the breaking point. That’s
why Governor David Paterson’s proposal
to levy an excise tax on soda and other sugared drinks makes perfect
sense. It’s a courageous yet common-sense move that I hope all
governors, and all state legislators, consider replicating.
Unlike milk or juice, soda provides nothing but empty calories to the diet—it is a totally unnecessary and worthless product
that everyone would do well to avoid. A state tax on these
disease-promoting drinks could raise a billion dollars a year and put a
modest dent in consumption. That’s a windfall for taxpayers in more
ways than one.
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