New Tax Proposal Takes Aim at Soda

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If you’ve needed a reason to cut back on soft drinks, you may soon have a new one.  Alabama lawmakers are hoping to cash in on the popularity of the beverage by adding a new 5 cent tax on every 12 ounce of the beverage.

“I would like to see where it’s going,” said David Meyer, Mobile.

Those we spoke with on this rainy Sunday in downtown mobile say it’s not a terrible idea.

“It wouldn’t affect us, if it was just five cents more and we bought a soda there,” said Abby Rensink.

“The tax would affect the poor a lot more than people with money. For me I don’t think it would make much of a difference,” said Meyer.

For now Governor Bentley calls this an option, as he aims to raise what he calls “user taxes,” to avoid raising income and property taxes.

“A soda tax has been talked about you know, a reasonable soda tax, a cigarette tax has been talked about, a business privilege tax, so there are several taxes,” said Bentley in an interview earlier in the week.

However, it would be surprising to see this tax get traction — lawmakers had proposed a budget in the beginning of June to slash $200 million that would have cut services, and employees but Governor Robert Bentley vetoed it. For now the proposal still seems to be on the table.

“I know it wouldn’t be bad I should be drinking more water, and I’d like to think that would motivate me, but it probably wouldn’t,” said Bentley.

Alabama already has a 4 percent tax on soda. Legislators are expected to continue working in special sessions until a new budget is passed.

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