A 3 cent tax on sugary sodas as well as energy and sports drinks and sweetened tea drinks was proposed to help finance the universal healthcare bill suggested by US President Obama.
The proposed tax would generate about $24 billion over the next four year, a mere drop compared to the $1.2 trillion needed to fund the proposed plan. Nevertheless Michael Jacobso, founder of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), says it is long overdue. According to him, sodas are "one of the most harmful products in the food supply" and contribute to obesity, diabetes and other modern scourges.
Needless to say, the beverage industry isn't very fond of the idea. According to Susan Neely, president and CEO of the American Beverage Association "tax won't teach children these skills or have a lasting, meaningful impact on reducing childhood obesity" and will only unfairly target lower-income families.
Similar suggestions are made in other states of the US as well as overseas. New York recently backed off a proposal to levy an 18 percent tax on sugary drinks, despite the potential to reduce consumption by more than ten percent and raise $1.2 billion a year in New York state alone. In March, Utah Lawmakers suggested a Tax on Caffeine . In UK, a tax on chocolate was proposed. Like the tax on sodas, the proposal was made to fight obesity. The Australian government on the other hand continue to push their idea to raise taxes on alcopop and other alcohol products.