From No Hawaii Beverage Tax
No Surprise! A beverage tax has been introduced in Hawaii for the third straight year.
Governor Abercrombie and the Department of Health are urging state lawmakers to approve a penny per ounce tax on most sweetened beverages, claiming that revenue from such a tax would fight obesity. Taxing soda is not the solution. At a time when we are finally seeing our economy recover, this is the worst time to place added burdens on consumers and small businesses.
Calories in the American diet from added sugars in soda have dropped nearly 40 percent since 2000. In addition, calories from soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages make up just 7 percent of the American diet. So it makes no sense to single out the beverage industry – an industry which is one of the last to manufacture many of its products right here in the islands – as the culprit for a growing obesity problem.
Everyone knows that obesity is a complex issue requiring a holistic approach that involves healthy eating and more exercise. Taxing beverages is a tactic that takes our eye off the real problem and hits consumers directly in the pocketbook at the grocery store.
As public audits recently revealed, it's difficult to trust the Department of Health to spend our tax dollars wisely. Our politicians should be focusing on important issues like maintaining the economic recovery and not imposing discriminatory taxes that aren't going to do anything to improve the health of our citizens.
Our coalition has over 340 businesses and 2,300 individual supporters. With your help, we are going to show the Legislature that a beverage tax is a bad idea for the people of Hawaii.
SA Dec 30, 2012: HI-5 program faces heat: The recycling initiative raised its fee before two audits revealed lax oversight and a risk of fraud