A state senator wants to tax your soda pop.
Or, rather, a state senator proposes that soft drinks no longer be considered as food and, thus, exempt from the states sales tax.
Senator Bill Avery of Lincoln says imposing the sales tax on soft drinks is projected to generate $11 million annually. His bill, LB 753, would use the money to create an Obesity Prevention Fund. Specifically, 90% of the sales tax revenue from soft drink sales would be directed to the Department of Education to create the fund with the remaining 10% directed to the Department of Health and Human Services to encourage healthy eating and exercise.
Avery says it’s time for the state to quit considering soft drinks as food.
“There seems to me to be no logical reason why we should define sugar beverages as food,” Avery says. “I think, surely, necessities like food and medicine ought to be exempted from the sales tax. But, I don’t see how you can argue that sugar beverages can be classified as food.”
Avery says that 34 states have already lifted the sales tax exemption for soft drinks. Avery’s legislation would use the first $100,000 generated from the sales tax on soft drinks to create a statewide data base on student obesity and fitness to gauge the extent of the problem.