Soda tax proposal would reach national level with SWEET Act

Lana Bandoim's picture
Soda tax could reach national level
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Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, who represents Connecticut, has introduced a new act that would create a national soda tax. The SWEET Act or the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Tax would add one penny for each teaspoon of sweetener. DeLauro wants to use the money from the tax to help fund programs designed to fight obesity and diabetes.

Taxing soda based on the amount of sugar

The congresswoman believes that taxing soda based on the amount of sugar inside is a fair way to set up the program because drinks with more sugar content would be more expensive. She thinks this will discourage people from purchasing soda in high amounts and help fund important health programs at the same time.

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Rosa DeLauro is not the first person to attempt to create a national soda tax, and local efforts have also been on the rise. Mayor Michael Bloomberg may not have succeeded with his goal of banning big sodas, but it has not stopped others from attempting to regulate the popular industry. As expected, the American Beverage Association is not pleased with the latest effort to add a tax to sodas and points out it has made efforts to reduce the amount of sugar in the drinks.

The SWEET Act and consumers

It is estimated that an average 20 oz bottle of soda would be taxed an additional 15 cents if the SWEET Act passes. Although critics do not believe a national tax will pass, several states have already adopted the idea. West Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee and Virginia have state soda taxes, but the impact on consumers is not clear. It has not stopped people from purchasing soda in the four states, and medical professionals warn that taxes should not be the only focus of encouraging people to make healthy choices at the grocery store.

Image: Marlith/Wikimedia Commons

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