From No Hawaii Beverage Tax
Troubling news this week – the Senate Committee on Health and the Senate Committee on Judiciary & Labor voted this week to approve the penny per ounce beverage tax.
The tax proposal would add $1.44 to a 12-pack of 12 oz. beverages (and that’s on top of the GET, bottle deposit and handling fee).
Some are claiming that revenue from such a tax would fight obesity. The Maui News ran an editorial this week examining this questionable claim and agrees that taxing soda is not the solution.
“Proponents say the measure is needed to combat childhood obesity. Does anyone really think that charging a 12-cent tax on a can of pop is going to change Junior's drinking habits?”
Not only will this tax not change Junior’s drinking habits, it is also the worst time to place added burdens on consumers, families and small businesses.
So what are the facts? The reality is that calories in the American diet from added sugars in soda have dropped nearly 40 percent since 2000. In addition, calories from soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages make up just 7 percent of the American diet. We wish the Senate committees this week had spent more time analyzing the real data instead of singling out the beverage industry and putting local jobs in jeopardy.
The beverage tax is now headed to the Senate Ways and Means Committee – where they will vote on the proposal by the end of February. We will keep monitoring the bill and continue to send you important updates as they develop.
Our coalition has 360 businesses, over 2,500 individual supporters and 9,500 people have liked us on Facebook. With your continued help, we are going to show the Legislature that a beverage tax is a bad idea for the people of Hawaii.