Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Most shoppers at the grocery store don't think twice about picking up a two-liter of soda and placing it in their cart. Soon, though, they might want to reconsider that purchase if some politicians have it their way.

Recently, Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl spoke out in support of a tax that would add a two cent per ounce tax to sweetened drinks, including soda pop, energy drinks, and iced tea. The charge would tack on an additional 40 cents for a 20-ounce sugary beverage and a whopping $1.35 for a two-liter, generating approximately $25 million a year in revenue for the city. The mayor hopes to follow the lead of Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, who proposed the idea to city council last month.

The two Pennsylvania leaders are not the first, however, to suggest such a levy in an attempt to boost coffers and curb obesity. In fact, Arkansas, Missouri, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia already collect taxes on sweet beverages ranging from chocolate milk and flavored waters to soda pop and energy drinks. California, Colorado, Kansas, Massachusetts, Mississippi, and New York are among other states also considering the tax. In many places, the soda tax is greater than that of alcohol or tobacco.

A study released last month by Rasmussen Reports revealed that 56 percent of those surveyed object to taxes on sodas and snacks, with 12 percent undecided. In addition, research published last week announced that the tax does not reduce the risk of obesity.

Personally, I'm a diet soda gal, but I've been known to throw back a regular pop now and again. I believe in moderation and the concept of calories in versus calories out when it comes to weight loss. If those drinks were taxed, though, I think I could give them up to protect my wallet.

What about you? Do you live in an area that taxes soda? Have you changed your buying habits? If you don't live in such an area, what would you do if the tax passed? I want to know what you think, so please comment. In the meantime, read what the American Beverage Association and an industry expert have to say about this issue.

1 comment:

  1. I'm not a big soda drinker and I rarely purchase it from the store. I do find myself craving a cold carbonated fountain drink every now and then, so essentially this tax wouldn't phase me. Tax away I say!