Obesity Tax in New York?

15 December, 2008 at 6:15 pm (Politics)

So New Yorkers are getting all twisted about this story, which shows that Governor Paterson is proposing, among other things, a 15% tax on non-diet sodas.

Gov. Paterson, as part of a $121 billion budget to be unveiled Tuesday, will propose an “obesity tax” of about 15% on nondiet drinks.

Paterson’s budget also calls for a 3% cut in education spending, a $620-a-year tuition hike at SUNY and a $600 increase at CUNY – and about $3.5 billion in health care cuts, a source said.

The Democratic governor will not call for a broad-based income tax boost, but he will push to restore the sales tax on clothing and footwear.

The drastic belt-tightening comes as lawmakers struggle to close a $15 billion deficit this year and next.

“It’s painful to make these decisions,” Paterson said Sunday.

State employees again will be asked to forgo their 3% raises next year and defer five days’ pay until they leave their jobs, the source said. In all, Paterson will propose about $9 billion in cuts, $4 billion in new taxes and fees, and $1.5 billion in nonrecurring revenue, a second source said.

The so-called obesity tax would generate an estimated $404 million a year. Milk, juice, diet soda and bottled water would be exempt from the tax.

Times are tough, and they’re only getting tougher…and I can’t say that I’m a fan of cutting education spending, raising tuition at CUNY or SUNY, or bringing back the tax on clothing. But on sodas – why not? There is already a crazy high tax on cigarettes here, and it’s had the added bonus of dissuading people from smoking. So maybe the tax on sugary sodas will do the same? Helping to combat obesity and trying to close the deficit…doesn’t seem like the worst idea in the world to me!

**and yes, I realize this tax hike will likely include booze



  1. Robert said,


  2. Rosella said,

    I suppose that is reasonable, but PLEASE, stay away from a tax on CHOCOLATE…talk about a Boston tea party!!!!!

  3. Robert said,


  4. adayinthelyfe said,

    I like how the man who isn’t passionate about anything comes to life when the subject of increased pricing of booze comes up.

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