Rep. DeLauro: Tax Every Teaspoon of Sugar

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) introduced this week the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Tax (SWEET Act), which aims to institute a tax of one cent per teaspoon – 4.2 grams – of sugar, high fructose corn syrup or caloric sweetener.

The measure (HB 5279), introduced Wednesday says, “A 20-ounce bottle of soda contains about 16 teaspoons of sugars. Yet, the American Heart Association recommends that Americans consume no more than six to nine teaspoons of sugar per day.”

Even though the manufacturers’ of the sweet drinks are targeted to pay the tax, the text of the bill itself notes that the goal is to reduce public consumption through a price increase.

“This Act is intended to discourage excessive consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages by increasing the price of these products and by creating a dedicated revenue source for programs and research designed to reduce the human and economic costs of diabetes, obesity, dental caries, and other diet-related health conditions in priority populations,” the measure says.

DeLauro had earlier discussed the proposal while she was crafting it.

During a video presentation for The National Soda Summit in June DeLauro said, “It is long past time that we pass and support policies that work to our better health instead. With that in mind I’m working on legislation right now to tax sugar-sweetened drinks, like sodas, in a way that reflects the serious damage they are doing to our health.”

via Rep. DeLauro: Tax Every Teaspoon of Sugar | CNS News.

San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener to introduce soda tax proposal

A can of soda could eventually cost about a quarter more in San Francisco. A proposed measure would add a special tax to sugary beverages, but the proposal is different than a similar ballot measure that failed in Richmond last year.

The idea is simple — the bigger the drink, the more taxes you pay. It would be 2 cents per ounce for all sugar-sweetened beverages. That includes soda, sports drinks, energy drinks, and bottled Frappuccinos.

“It’s not a nanny state at all; we’re not banning anything,” San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener said.

Wiener says the nation’s rising obesity rate inspired him to come up with the proposal, which will ultimately need the approval of two-thirds of San Francisco voters.

“We have taxed alcohol for a long time, so it’s not out of the ordinary to tax products that have some negative side effects,” Wiener said.

Two cents an ounce adds up pretty quickly. A 32-once drink at a gas station would cost an extra 64 cents.

As to where all that money will go, the estimated $31 million a year will go to nutrition, health and physical fitness programs, a stark contrast to the failed soda tax proposal in Richmond, where the money instead was earmarked for the general fund.

In a statement, Californians for Food And Beverage wrote, “such measures are unnecessary, wasteful distractions from serious policymaking.”

San Francisco residents, meanwhile, have their opinions.

“As long as it’s going to educate people on a healthy lifestyle I think it’s worth it,” Steve Reeder said.

“I have an issue with just kind of taxing everything away, so I’m kind of on the fence,” Martha Miller said.

The beverage tax proposal will be introduced before the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener to introduce soda tax proposal |