US: NY mayor backs soft drinks tax

By | 26 January 2010

NY mayor backs proposed tax

NY mayor backs proposed tax

New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg has voiced his support for a proposed tax on sugar sweetened beverages in the US state.

The proposal, raised for the second time in 12 months by New York Governor David Paterson, was backed by Bloomberg in Albany this week.

The mayor lauded the proposed tax as "far-sighted", adding that half the residents of New York city and 40% of its public school population are overweight, putting them at risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, asthma and depression, the Financial Times reported.

The newly proposed tax in New York would add US$1.44 to the price of a typical 12-pack of non-diet Coke or Pepsi cans, nearly ten times the state excise tax on a 12-pack of beer.

Many however, have voiced their disappointment at the proposal, being billed as a way to fight obesity and provide more funds for healthcare.

The American Beverage Association said that while obesity is a “complex issue”, it will not be resolved by placing a tax on beverages.

“If New York legislators want to make a dent in the waistlines of New Yorkers, they should seek comprehensive approaches that will have a meaningful and lasting impact, rather than sound bite solutions."

Sectors: Soft drinks, Water

Companies: Coke

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