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.