D.C. City Council proposes massive soda tax that even Bernie Sanders opposes.

Submitted by mpalicz on Tuesday, October 8th, 2019, 4,54 PM

A majority of the D.C. City Council wants to impose one of the highest taxes on sugary drinks in the country, a move that will raise the cost of soda and disproportionally hit low-income individuals.

The tax hike is the latest nanny-state effort from the D.C. City Council which intends to force consumers to purchase alternative beverages the city council deems more acceptable. “We need a little bit of stick in addition to the carrot,” said Brianne K. Nadeau (D-Ward 1), the bill’s author.

Soda taxes are so harmful, even Bernie Sanders opposes them.

During his 2016 presidential bid Bernie Sanders slammed Hillary Clinton’s endorsement of a soda tax. As reported by The Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross, Sanders said:

“The mechanism here is fairly regressive. And that is, it will be increasing taxes on low income and working people.”

Sanders went on to note that Clinton’s embrace of a soda tax violated her pledge to the American people not to support any tax increase on Americans making less than $250,000 per year.

"Frankly, I am very surprised that Secretary Clinton would support this regressive tax after pledging not to raise taxes on anyone making less than $250,000. This proposal clearly violates her pledge," Sanders said.

How Regressive is a soda tax?

According to a 2018 report from the Tax Foundation, 47 percent of the tax collections from an excise tax based on fluid ounces would come from households with income under $50,000. Additionally, 78 percent of tax collections would come from households earning less than $100,000.

How large is the proposed soda tax?

A bill announced yesterday would levy a 1.5 cent-per-ounce sin tax on sweetened beverages with the stated goal of discouraging sugar use. For context, the tax hike would add a full dollar to the cost of a two-liter bottle and an extra $2.16 on a 12-pack of soda.

What drinks are impacted?

The tax applies to sugary drinks with any “natural common sweeteners,” meaning beverages such as Gatorade, sweetened iced coffee and orange juice with added sugar are also subject to the tax.

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