Massachusetts lawmakers propose adding tax to sugary drinks, sodas

Boston Statehouse

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Some state lawmakers want to slap a tax onto sugary drinks and sodas to improve your health. 

If a new proposal were to pass, taking a sip of a sugary drink could cost you a few cents extra. State Representative Kay Khan filed the latest proposal to tax sodas and sugary drinks. 

Representatives from the American Heart Association and the Joslin Diabetes Center supported the idea at the State House, and the Massachusetts Health Council’s CEO said the move could “dramatically improve the health of the people of Massachusetts.” 

“Especially for the children, I don’t like to see children drinking soda,” said Deby Diemand of Florence. “We don’t have it in my house.” 

But groups lobbying on behalf of convenience stores and beverage companies said people could just buy their beverages elsewhere, with a rep from the American Beverage Association claiming it could cost the state millions of dollars in retail sales.  

One soda drinker said the state already charges a five-cent deposit on bottles and cans, and he wasn’t sweet on the idea of adding another tax for sugar. 

Under the proposal, drinks with 7.5 grams of sugar or less would not be taxed. 

Beverages with 100 percent natural fruit or vegetable juice that doesn’t have added sugars would be exempt. 

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