CT Lawmaker Proposes National Soda Tax

by Ian Tuttle

And you thought Michael Bloomberg was bad.

Representative Rosa DeLauro (D., Conn.) plans to introduce a bill in the House today that would tax sugary beverages, expanding the former New York City mayor’s attempted vice tax to encompass an entire nation of Big Gulp lovers. Reports Reuters:

DeLauro’s legislation would levy a one-cent tax on manufacturers for every teaspoon of sugar in most beverages. The law, which would exempt drinks such as milk and 100 percent fruit juices, targets beverages with significant amounts of added sugars. That would translate into a tax of about 15 cents on a 20-ounce bottle of Coca-Cola, according to a spokeswoman for DeLauro.

The Connecticut lawmaker believes the time to act is now: “We have a serious health problem. It is in part related to the consumption of sugar and added sugars and sugary beverages. Therefore we need to move to do something to avert this crisis,” she told Reuters on Tuesday.

Local sugary-beverage tax proposals await voter approval in San Francisco and Berkeley, California. However, the most famous penalty — levied by New York City’s Board of Health in 2012 — was struck down in late June by the New York State Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court.