It has left a bad aftertaste with some and garnered little success around the country, but some law makers in Connecticut are testing the waters on how to levy a tax on soda and highly sugared drinks.
New Haven Mayor Toni Harp’s proposed two percent tax on heavily sugared soft drinks would apply statewide. Harp says the tax would translate to about $144 million a year for the state. Money, she says, that should be earmarked for healthy eating programs
“I think it’s a message basically saying that we drink too many sugary drinks, it creates obesity that leads to disease,” Harp said. “We have to find ways to say to people in Connecticut that we really shouldn’t do that in the same way we’ve said it about cigarettes.”
Harp cited a Harvard study that indicates a 2 percent tax on soda would result in 16 percent less consumption. It is unknown whether the soda tax proposal will make it to the statehouse floor during the current legislative session. Harp says she will keep pushing for the measure, saying that continuing the conversation on a soda tax is key.