Aloha from the No Hawaii Beverage Tax Coalition! December 20, 2012
As 2012 draws to a close, we wanted to let you know how our work is going and give you an update on what we expect in 2013.
In November, voters in two California cities, Richmond and El Monte, went to the polls and voted on local ballot measures that proposed placing a penny-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages. Hundreds of products, from juice drinks to bubble teas, were swept up in the net of these ill-conceived tax measures. Both measures were met with strong opposition by local businesses and families and both were resoundingly defeated at the ballot box. Sixty-eight percent of Richmond voters said "NO" to the tax and 76% of El Monte voters said "NO."
On the international front, November also brought the repeal of Denmark's wildly unpopular "fat tax" after only one year on the books. As Danes began flocking across the border to Sweden and Germany to buy groceries, lawmakers were forced to face the harmful effect the tax had on businesses throughout the country.
From Southern California to Northern Europe, the message is clear: obesity can't be solved through a tax, and people want politicians to focus on solving big problems instead of singling out common grocery items for unfair taxes.
We've been busy growing our coalition of concerned citizens, families, business and organizations opposed to beverage taxes. Our coalition has over 2,300 individual members, over 8,000 Facebook fans and more than 320 business members. It’s so exciting to see momentum building against a beverage tax!
As January and the 2013 legislative session nears, we're working hard to tell our elected officials that discriminatory taxes hurt Hawaii's businesses and families, and that in these tough economic times we simply can't afford to let politicians experiment with bad policies. Hawaii was just ranked near the bottom of states friendly to business—beverage taxes will only make matters worse and hurt an industry that supports thousands of jobs across the Islands.
Help us spread the word! If you haven’t already, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and check back often for news and updates.
Thank you for your continued support! Let's keep politicians out of our shopping carts.
-Your friends at No Hawaii Beverage Tax