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Soda Pop Tax Proposed in Boulder

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Health enthusiasts in Boulder are hoping that voters can decide in November whether they want an excise tax on soda pop and other sugary drinks.

The Denver Post says the Healthy Boulder Kids organization filed to pursue this measure, which would require soda pop distributors to pay up to 2 cents in tax per ounce of beverages containing at least 5 grams of sugar, with the intent to raise funding for awareness of exercise and healthy eating.

No tax would be paid by consumers.

The filing is under review, and if the ballot language is certified, Healthy Boulder Kids will then have until June 28 to gather and submit signatures needed to land the measure on the November 8 ballot.

So here’s my take on it – the proposal has really great intentions by raising money for healthy living awareness, and I’m glad consumers won’t be paying this tax (because let’s face it, paying more money than we should be is ridiculous, and tax doesn’t keep people from smoking tobacco and marijuana, now does it?). However, the soda pop industry is already getting a lot of flack for selling a product people actually want (no matter how unhealthy it may be) and I hate seeing proposals that deter businesses from, well, doing business and paying their employees living wages. The more expenses businesses have to pay, the less they can pay their employees – or worse, the more jobs they have to cut. Is this proposal extreme? I mean, not necessarily…but 2 cents per ounce definitely adds up quickly.

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