Sugary drinks

Lawmakers are looking to take sugary beverages off childrens' menus at restaurants (WFSB)

HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Fixing the state's financial problems is creating a difficult debate.

Connecticut needs more revenue, but the issue is where to get it.

Governor Ned Lamont's budget includes tolls and expanding the sales tax.

Bringing back tolls is definitely a talker and very controversial, and so are the goods and services Lamont wants to start taxing.

Taxing sugary beverages like soda is one of several things Connecticut’s new governor is looking at slapping a sales tax on.

“Make no mistake, empty calories and added sugar of which sugar sweetened beverages are a major contributor fuels these modern plagues,” said Dr. David Katz, Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center.

Doctors say we must do more to combat the epidemic of obesity and diabetes and other chronic diseases.

A 12 ounce can of soda such as Coke has 39 grams of sugar, which is a little over 9 teaspoons.

The tax would be 1.5 cents per ounce.

For example, a 12 ounce can of soda there would be an 18-cent tax.

"The benefit now it tastes good, what are the risks in the long run, heart disease, weight gain, health issues,” said Nicole Klarides-Detria.

Representative Nicole Klarides-Detria doesn't think a tax on sugary drinks is a bad thing but disagrees with the governor's budget which expands the sales tax to services many people depend on.

To raise more revenue, Lamont wants to add a sales tax to legal services such as haircuts, massages, dry cleaning and veterinary services.

"Massage therapy is health care and should be treated as such,” said Becca Torns-Barker, a small business owner.

Torns-Barker has run a massage business for 13 years, and she says adding a tax could prevent some from getting the care they need.

"We do feel it will impact small business owners because people will have to budget in that sales tax. The likely result will be they will have fewer messages a year,” said Torns-Barker.

Lamont had talked about adding a tax on groceries, which caused a huge backlash and it was quickly removed from his budget.

It's possible these are taxes could have the same fate.

Copyright 2019 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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(3) comments

Blavigne

Does Lamont really think that taxing soda will be GOOD for the obesity problem?! He's kidding, right?! Taxing carbonated beverages is not a deterrence from soda purchases and EVERYONE is already educated of what impact soda can have on one's diet. This is called choice - people choose to buy/consume soda. Whether parents choose to educate their children about the impact of soda beverages is a parental one and not one for legislature. If I put myself in the Governor's shoes - yes, I too, would want to exercise everyone option to generate income for the state, but this proposal only creates animosity with the constituents. May I suggest taxing the large corporations instead of giving them a break and making the lower income constituents bear the burden of state income losses?....just one suggestion....

Truthseeker

@Feddup - the answer is simple. Your state politician's all need to buy new boats every year and they think that they should not be burdened with taxes. You know the taxes are just for us low-lifes so politician's can buy boats.

Feddup

Why is the sales tax on boats only 2.99% and no annual property tax? But poor Joe Schmoo buys a used pop up camper and pays full sales tax plus annual property tax.

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