TO TAX OR NOT TO TAX?

New York State Senate

Let them eat cake… or not.

The other week while shooting in NYC, we were able to attend a State Senate committee meeting on the proposed tax on soft drinks that contain any form of sugar sweetener.

This has been a very hot topic for many people and the reactions were mixed at best. It was almost split down party lines.

As much as some people believe it would make a great added deterrent to purchasing these drinks and agree that it is a form of empty calories, many are enraged as they claim they will only end up going next door to Jersey to make their purchases.

One state senator claimed that he buys a large amount of soft drinks for his family and that none have a major obesity problem. Though others state that they consume way too many soft drinks and could use any help they get. One other possible scenario going around is that not only is it empty calories but also a very addictive additive.

The one problem that I and many others have found with this proposal is not what it is intended to do but what it is not. That being, the allocation of funds derived from any tax. There is no indication that it would pay for any health related care in the state and no guarantee that a dime of it would go to any health related causes or treatments.

Barry Roskin Blake and MeMe Roth at the NY State Senate Committee Meeting

So while the state grapples with adding one more tax in this economy, many are wondering if it is not just another case of local or state governments overstepping their bounds.

What do you think of a proposed tax on sugary drinks?  Good? Bad? Going too far? Would it deter you from buying your beloved soda?

— Barry Roskin Blake

return to finding thin

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2 responses to “TO TAX OR NOT TO TAX?

  1. Concerning Governor Paterson’s proposed soda tax and the absurd justification behind it. I dislike when my tax dollars are use in the name of bad science. Soda has been around since 1265. See… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soft_drink#History

    Governor Paterson should back off the soda. It is not the source of the obesity problem. Inferior physical and nutritional education, which of course leads to poor exercise habits and ill-advised diets, are the cause of inflated waistlines. Having a salad with a Coke is far better then a bottle of water to wash down a face full of dirty water dogs. Add walking up the stairs instead of taking the elevator and you’re golden.

    There is bad science supporting this bad tax. See… http://www.scientificblogging.com/news_articles/doctors_poke_holes_soda_tax_proposal

    I advocate the responsible use of governmental powers, both in taxation and implementation of programs. Why target soda with an extra tax? Isn’t the sale tax we all pay on all the food we purchase enough of a burden? Will a soda tax really do anything to curb obesity?

    It offends me that some politician is planning to tax my freedom of choice in the name of a problem he will do nothing to solve. The evaluation of Governor Paterson’s soda tax really comes down to one question. How much of those soda tax dollars will fund physical exercise programs vs. pet projects to keep the politicians in office?

  2. @javsnyc I agree with you that a tax wont do anything to curb obesity. My government isn’t meant to serve as my conscience or my parents telling me what I can and can’t eat. In a country founded on freedom, what gives them the right to hinder my freedom of choice? If they want to help the health of the country how about focusing on making healthier foods more reasonably priced for the lower income families and more widely available to everyone across the country? I think that is the key to the health problems in America.

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