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Sin Tax on Sodas? NYC Mayor Says It Would Be Good for State

5 years ago
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New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is pushing lawmakers to pass a penny-per-ounce tax on sodas sold in the state in order to raise money that would prevent the need for cuts in health care services and education financing.

In his weekly radio address, Bloomberg urged the State Legislature to consider his plan as a way to help the state close its growing budget gap, Reuters reported.

"An extra 12 cents on a can of soda would raise nearly $1 billion, allowing us to keep community health services open and teachers in the classroom," Bloomberg said in Sunday's speech. "And, at the same time, it would help us fight a major problem plaguing our children: obesity."

The mayor would need state permission to impose a tax in New York City. In December, Gov. David Paterson said he supported a tax on sugary drinks, the Daily News reported.

The American Beverage Association, whose members include Coca-Cola, Pepsi and other soda makers, said Bloomberg's proposal would threaten jobs in its industry.

In the past, Bloomberg spearheaded bans on smoking and the use of trans fats in New York City bars and restaurants.

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