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Soda tax comes to Oregon

August 16, 2010

As State drowns in projected deficits, the soda tax looks alluring
By Oregon Tax News

The Oregon Public Health Division is working on legislation to enact a tax on sweetened beverages.    This would include many sodas and other sweetened drinks like Gatorade and ice tea drinks.  The cost of a half-cent per ounce would equal to be about 6-cents per soda bottle.   This beverage tax would generate over $160 million  for the State of Oregon Government.

The Health Division is advocating the proceeds be used for anti-obesity programs.     The proposal also comes at a time when Governor Kulongoski has announced that the state is $10.3 billion deficit over the next ten years.    Many product taxes start with a dedicated fund idea and then get diverted to pay for other programs.   This is the fear of every taxpayer who finds a continuing tax increase on more and more products.

The legislation which has the approval of Governor Kulongoski would be introduced in the 2011 Legislative Session.   If Oregon Legislature approves they would be following the State of Washington which passed a new tax on soda beverages and included a tax on candy and bottled water this year.

  
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Discuss this article

Marvn McConoughey August 16, 2010

Tax measures should preferably tax items and activities of low, or negative, social value. Soda pop seems to fall within that category because the personal enjoyment it brings comes with increased risk of dental damage and obesity.

bob j August 16, 2010

here we go again ,,we gotta get that gov voted out ,,i think the most taxiest gov in oregon’s history..tax and spend ,,on and on. its simple cut high wages for state officials including gov. stop state spendy unecessary projects.we dont need multi million dollar brick outhouses in rest areas ect. just an example.stop road building ,,repair only.the rest of us suffer with cuts in wages or job loss let the state workers share the misery ,oregon gotta stop being so extravigant ,,and like calif .or will suffer the same fate.

Jan August 16, 2010

The money a soda tax raises will be spent on Johnson & Johnson diet drugs, just like a good portion of tobacco taxes are spent on Johnson & Johnson patches & gums to help smokers quit. They are 98.4% ineffective, but the states keep J&J laughing all the way to the bank.

No to rent seeking legislation or at the very least prevent OHD from wasting these funds on useless drugs. Pay doctors to see low income patients instead.

Bob Clark August 16, 2010

This is just to continue building the empire of the Oregon Public Health Division, giving it a new and separate funding source so as to avoid facing any moves to streamline and cut its budget.

JGalt August 16, 2010

Maybe if the government did not agree to take care of the fat and lazy to begin with we wouldn’t be having to pay out via taxes. Why not raise cosmetics taxes? Or how about above-basic desk and chair taxes? (After all, those aren’t necessities – correct?)

DOUGLAS August 17, 2010

>>Many product taxes start with a dedicated fund idea and then get diverted to pay for other programs<<

Ya think….

Mabe if you spend our tax dollars right this would'nt happen.

C.S. Mauro, Jr. August 20, 2010

Let me be clear from the outset: I do not want to see this tax. But I have to address some of the comments made here. JGalt: what proof do you have that the government is taking care of the “fat and lazy”. Do you find me “fat and lazy” because I lost my job and was being paid unemployment until recently? Would you like to see the log of the thousand jobs I’ve applied to? Marvin: the problem with “items and activity of low or negative social value” is a 100% subjective issue. Drinking soft drinks doesn’t necessarily equate to tooth decay or obesity in everyone – which would then make it an unfair tax to those that drink sweetened drinks without consequence vs. those that suffer from health risks associated with it. I hate “selective” taxes – they can never be fair when they’re equated with “low or negative social value”. I’ve an idea: how about addressing the bloat in government spending to begin with??? Run the darn thing like a real business? You can’t spend money you don’t have. What a concept…

rosethorn September 7, 2010

I completely support this legislation. That is all.

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