Lawmakers consider taxing sugary drinks - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Lawmakers consider taxing sugary drinks

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Sodas, certain juices and your next Gatorade could all be taxed by the ounce. (WFSB) Sodas, certain juices and your next Gatorade could all be taxed by the ounce. (WFSB)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Sodas, certain juices and your next Gatorade could all be taxed by the ounce.

A proposal that's aggressively going after sugary drinks is being looked at in the house and senate.

State lawmakers are considering taxing sodas, certain juices and energy drinks a penny per ounce.

On Tuesday, at the Shell gas station on Capitol Avenue, some drinks were two for $3, with a tax of 6.25 percent, and a bottle deposit of $0.05.

But soon, the 24 ounce bottles could cost an extra $0.24.

Anthony Santiago loves his Gatorade.

“I'd still pay for it, I'd be a little bothered, but I'd still pay for it,” Santiago said.

It's an aggressive tax that's been adopted in Philadelphia and Berkeley, California.

Dr. Daniel Long from Connecticut Voices for Children, said the tax could help the state's bottom line, immediately.

“It will produce revenue gains of $85 to 141 million a year,” Long said.

That money would go towards education programs. He also said it would save the state millions down the line as well by tackling the childhood obesity epidemic now.

“Statewide, over the lifetime of children and youth, ends up being $800 million in health costs, which could be prevented or at least reduced,” Long said.

Sodas, lemonades, juices and energy drinks would all be taxed. Chocolate milk, 100 percent juices wouldn't be.

“Here in Connecticut, if it moves, folks in the building, the legislature, try to tax it,” said State Rep. Jason Perillo (R-Shelton).

He said the state is desperately trying to get money any way it can, and points to what's happening in Philadelphia as a reason why this isn't the solution.

“They implemented this tax. The revenue just wasn't there and Teamsters ended up losing their jobs because people weren't buying as much soda,” Perillo said.

Right now, this is just a proposal.

Lawmakers sponsoring this would like to see it enacted by July 1, but there's no firm date on a vote.

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