Washington, D.C. – Today the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) called on New York’s Governor David Paterson to abandon his misguided proposal to place a penny-per-ounce “health tax” on sugar-sweetened beverages.
CCF was an outspoken opponent of Paterson’s last soda tax proposal, which fizzled last February when it failed to pass New Yorkers’ scrutiny. A 2008 poll by Quinnipiac University found that 60% of New Yorkers opposed Paterson’s 18% tax. A wealth of academic research shows that these kinds of taxes fail to address the complicated problem of obesity.
In addition, a poll of 1,006 adults by the Opinion Research Corporation (ORC) in September 2009 found that two-thirds of Americans are opposed to taxing soda. When specifically asked whether they agreed or disagreed that “carbonated soft drinks should carry extra taxes in order to discourage their consumption,” 65% disagreed, while only 28% agreed.
“The tax code should not be a tool of social engineering against New Yorkers who choose to make food and drink choices that paternalistic officials like Governor Paterson don’t approve of,” said J. Justin Wilson, CCF’s Senior Research Analyst. “New York state is home to the Big Apple, not Big Brother.”
“There is no single cause of obesity, therefore singling out sugary drinks makes no sense,” Wilson continued. “Paterson’s latest proposal only serves to fatten the wallets of Albany politicians, not trim New Yorkers’ waistlines.”