What will they think of next? No, seriously, if this sugary tax didn’t work in NYC why would Connecticut lawmakers dream of passing a soda tax? Because they said so.
Fox 61 reports that our representatives are truly concerned about the health and well being of their constituents. So, they want to put a nice big tax on all sugary drinks to fight against obesity and diabetes. And tooth decay.
All the money from the tax would supposedly go towards programs that will combat childhood obesity and also promote healthy eating.
As of right now, lawmakers believe a penny-per-ounce tax ought’a cover it.
The drinks they’re targeting? It’s any beverage that includes high fructose corn syrup, honey, and maple syrup. Basically, they’re gonna tax anything that tastes like happiness.
But, drinks like coke zero and other drink that includes “zero calorie” sweeteners are exempt. Oh, okay, that makes total sense. It’s not like artificial sweeteners trigger weight gain and create other health problems.
Wait, they do? Alrighty then.
Jeez, someone needs to sic Kendall Jenner on these people so she can give them some Pepsi. Because these guys really need to calm down and think about their actions.
I mean, we know EXACTLY why these lawmakers want to pass a sugar tax. The state is broke and needs to tap a new stream of revenue. So, naturally, they’re going to go after a popular commodity.
Already, supporters are projecting the new tax will raise an additional $85 to $141 million. Sure, these politicians are promising that all the tax money will go towards health initiatives. But, we know it’ll all fall into the bottomless hole known as the General Fund.
I mean, that’s where all the money has gone from the cigarette tax, right? Anyone know how much money from that Big Tobacco settlement actually went into stop-smoking initiatives?
Also, who’s gonna be most affected by this new tax? Yep, it’s the poor and small businesses. Nice.
American Beverage Association spokesman Kevin Dietly conveyed just that to lawmakers:
“You can’t put a penny on a beverage container and say you’re solving the obesity crisis. This is really about a pointed specific tax that’s going to hurt consumers and it’s going to hurt the businesses downstream who are selling those.”
Those points are the exact reason why similar proposals haven’t gained traction in the state. However, now that the deficit has ballooned into a horrific $1.7 billion… chances of the bill going through are petty solid.
House Bill 7314 is currently sitting with the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee. So, if you don’t want this tax coming near your precious drinks, you should give your local rep a call. Or 20.
Also, you can be like Shajara Gonzalez and speak directly with the media. She told Fox 61 how the bill would directly affect residents just like her for the worse:
“I don’t want to pay twenty cents more because I buy it everyday. They’re not paying taxes for juice. We have a minimum wage job. We don’t want to pay more for everything.”
I’ll be honest. I don’t drink soda or sugary beverages beyond a Gatorade Frost (because of my blue drink obsession) after a strenuous activity. Like a night of drinking.
So, this tax will not affect me much. But it will affect people who do enjoy the taste of Coke and Pepsi, like basically all my family and friends. It’s a drink they enjoy and it makes them happy.
Plus, soft drinks are way cheaper than buying those “healthy” drinks that are constantly pushed on us. Unless companies make V8 or that organic banana juice as inexpensive as a bottle of Dr. Pepper, then those of us who are pinching pennies won’t make the switch.
Forcing them to pay more because of some misguided notion that this will end obesity isn’t sitting well with me. You want to cure childhood obesity? Stop cutting recess time, for starters.
But, in the end, this isn’t about the health of the people. It’s another masqueraded attempt to suck more money out of the residents because our politicians have no idea how to control their spending.
So they’re going to try to control what you drink.