February 9

New Haven mayor proposes soda tax to fight obesity

Toni Harp says a 2 percent tax on high-calorie sugary drinks would reduce sales of the beverage and generate about $144 million in revenue.

The Associated Press

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — New Haven Mayor Toni Harp wants the state to impose a soda tax to battle obesity.

Harp says a 2 percent tax on high-calorie sugary drinks would reduce sales of the beverage and generate about $144 million in revenue.

A soda tax would have to be statewide, but has not been mentioned since the legislative session began on Thursday. Connecticut does not authorize cities and towns to levy taxes.

Soda, candy and alcoholic beverages are subject to a state sales tax.

Chris Gindlesperger, a spokesman for the American Beverage Association, says consumers do not support soda taxes or regulations restricting grocery purchases. He says education, rather than laws and regulations, can help fight obesity.

Gindlesperger said companies put calorie counts on labels and offer low- and no-calorie choices.

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