Archive for Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Bottlers, distributors lobbying against proposed soda tax

Soda bottlers and distributors lobbied against a proposed tax on sugary drinks. The tax would add one cent for every teaspoon of sugar in beverages.

April 20, 2010, 11:04 a.m. Updated April 20, 2010, 2:42 p.m.


— Soda bottlers and distributors in Kansas are lobbying against a proposed tax on sugary drinks.

Dozens of employees for bottling companies came to the Statehouse Tuesday to meet with members of the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

The committee is drafting a proposed budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1. It’s likely to require tax increases.

One proposal before lawmakers is a penny-per-teaspoon tax on the sugar in soda and other beverages.

Kevin Morris, a vice president for a Lenexa-based Coca-Cola bottling company, says the tax would amount to a levy of 30 percent to 50 percent on soda products. It would be about 10 cents per 12-ounce can.

“We’re concerned,” Morris said. “It would result in lost jobs.”

The proposed soda tax would raise $90 million a year. Legislative researchers say it would increase the cost of a 12-ounce can of soda by 10 cents; beverage industry officials say a 2-liter bottle would cost 56 cents more.

Morris said the tax would amount to a levy of 30 percent to 50 percent, depending on the product.

The tax would apply to packaged sweetened, nonalcoholic beverages, including soda, root beer, ginger ale, lemon-lime drinks and beverages that are 10 percent or less “natural” fruit or vegetable juice.

Only three states — Arkansas, Washington and West Virginia — have such a tax, said Dan Thorp, a spokesman for the American Beverage Association. Thorp said the Kansas proposal is unusual because the tax would vary with the amount of sugar in each drink.

“It would be a logistical nightmare,” he said.

But Thorp said the biggest concern is increasing costs for consumers — and a resulting drop in sales. Morris said about 14,000 jobs are tied to the industry in Kansas.

The industry is sponsoring full-page ads in eight Kansas newspapers and plans to broadcast radio ads across the state, Thorp said.


kantubek 5 years, 7 months ago

Don't want to pay a sin tax on soda?

Drink water instead.

Duffman 5 years, 7 months ago

"Morris says that would drive down sales and cost Kansas jobs."

Morris lies... show me a study that supports his claim.

chzypoof1 5 years, 7 months ago

I agree with ALL of you....since YOU don't like soda, then we should tax it...what about a 50% tax increase on the water you drink?

I love the people that are always ready to jump and tax ANYTHING that they don't use/support:

Pornography Alcohol Cigarettes Trans Fats

etc etc etc...


kantubek 5 years, 7 months ago

I actually enjoy drinking soda, I just don't binge on it as most soda drinkers do. If the tax is similar to those such as alcohol and tobacco, then the purpose it twofold. One, to curb the excessive use thereof, and two, reap the benefits of tax revenue on a widely used commodity.

Regardless, I support this tax.

SettingTheRecordStraight 5 years, 7 months ago

"reap the benefits of tax revenue"

And what benefits are those? More government programs? More government union members? Less money in the pockets of Kansas families?

chzypoof1 5 years, 7 months ago

Thank you Kantubek for backing up my point...

And g_rock...too bad you couldn't come up with a better response. My point was that taxing something YOU don't like is never the right approach...


grimpeur 5 years, 7 months ago

Let's review an example from recent sugar water news:

Coke signs an exclusive deal with KU. First thing, 12-oz can price goes up 25%, to 75 cents. Then 20-ounce bottle is introduced, priced at $1.25. Next, 12-oz cans are removed from most locations, so you have to buy a larger size at more than twice the cost of the old can while getting less than twice the product.

Next, the contract calls for the price of the 12-oz cans to go up to $1.00, and the 20-oz bottles to $1.50. And there's the small matter of the $800K or so in tickets to Coke each year (20 season tix to each of BB and FB).

This means that the soda tax is really, truly insignificant from a consumer standpoint, since KU and Coke are already totally ripping off their captive customer base. Of course, the goal is better service to the KU audience of students, faculty and staff. This is because having a monopoly allows the Account and the Sponsor to concentrate on providing the very best service to their customers. And of course the bump in sales allows the Sponsor to keep prices low.

Yeah, right. Soda drinkers on campus, you're being played. But it's not by any sugar tax.

Duffman 5 years, 7 months ago

This same price and supply situation has occurred in several of the high schools around the area, but with the other guy pep... something.

tomatogrower 5 years, 7 months ago

I can't imagine someone who loves pop not drinking it, because they have to pay extra. If it means no more cuts to schools, then do it.

whats_going_on 5 years, 7 months ago

Its like people who tan whining over the 10% tax. If you can afford to tan in the first place and you don't care about anything else associated with it, then the measly increase isn't going to stop you anyway.

Ayeayeaye, PEOPLE.

However, some people HAVE quit smoking because of increased costs, so maybe there is hope?

SettingTheRecordStraight 5 years, 7 months ago

So you support social engineering through tax policy? The last thing we want is government bureaucrats waving carrots at us or beating us with sticks to motivate us to do what it wants - all while collecting more money unto itself.

1983Hawk 5 years, 7 months ago

Consider that 27 percent of 17-24 year olds are too obese to join the military, even if they wanted to. Just sayin' ...

Richard Heckler 5 years, 7 months ago

Conventional Soda pop rots bones and teeth = increases the cost of insurance and health care.

whats_going_on 5 years, 7 months ago

paranoid much?

Calm down. Unless you can't because of the case of soda you drink daily?

Richard Payton 5 years, 7 months ago

The_Original_Bob makes a good point when does it stop. They might begin to tax organic food, tofo,yogurt and gym memberships. Notjustyoureverydayaveragetrol wants fatties taxed but when they begin to tax skinnies tan lines whats his take?

whats_going_on 5 years, 7 months ago

they begin to tax skinnies tan lines...

rephrase in English please?

canusayduh 5 years, 7 months ago

I drink soda today. Tax it, and I will change my habits. I don't drink a case a day. But I do drink 1 or 2. But with so many new taxes, tanning, soda, things like that (I don't smoke or drink alcohol a lot), I will chose what I want to spend my money on. I will choose no soda. Personal to me. Everyone will make the decision for themselves. No need to bad mouth people. If you can't afford the tax, change your habits.

SettingTheRecordStraight 5 years, 7 months ago

"Tax it, and I will change my habits."

No offense, but this is the mantra of the weak. This is the mantra of those too helpless to help themselves. This is the cry of those desperate for the government to take care of their every last need.

Why do you feel you need the government to provide you with rewards for good behavior and punishments for bad behavior? Do you want us all to act like children at the feet of government? Thank you, but no. Do not include me among your ranks.

canusayduh 5 years, 7 months ago

Not really. It has the mantra of the independent person. Soda just isn't that important to me. I'm not weak. Nor do I need a reward from the government to make me feel "counted" or "accepted". Like I said in the post. I use tanning facilities as well. Those we be taxed. I won't be giving that up. Again, as stated in the post, I will chose what I spend my money on.

I don't really need your acceptance either to know my opinion and that my decisions only matter to me, ultimately. I don't need you included in my ranks.

EyeonKansas 5 years, 7 months ago

I agree with you canusayduh. I actually slowed down my consumption when 2 liter bottles got up to $1.50 (which occurred due to the bottlers wanting to make more and not a tax). I have also made other changes, not because the tax made social changes but because I chose not to spend my money on those items, regardless of what the tax might be. No one is saying someone CAN'T use or purchase something, but as canusayduh points out, we all have the opportunity to make choices on where we spend the money we have. Regardless of some taxes (like cigarette) I will still find people scouring the parking lot hoping to find some pennies on the ground to buy their cheap cigs and using the money on that instead of paying their bills (the first time I recognized that's what someone was doing was in 1991 and I never forgot it).

banksie 5 years, 7 months ago

so will my diet mountain dew be taxed?

Liberty275 5 years, 7 months ago

American Coke has no sugar. It is sweetened by corn syrup.

Anyway, another day, another tax. Business as usual.

Julie Jacob 5 years, 7 months ago

TOB is right, I was listening to GMA today and they are now going to limit salt in processed foods with a Federal Manadate coming soon. Sheesh!

somedude20 5 years, 7 months ago

We are all the bad children who must be punished by mommy and daddy (the govt). We smoke, drink, get fat, play video games and swear, get fatter, make the sex before marriage, become the fattest nation in the world, smoke k2, eat junk food, have a giant sense of entitlement, want everything now without cost to us. Can't mom and dad just hit me with a wooden stick like they did in the old days as I simply cant take another hit on my allowance.

I just wish mom and dad would tax bad music like Backstreet boys or a Justin Bieber tax.

Entitlement fat, no k2 on 4/20 and Captin Morgan lives Unprecedented

Katara 5 years, 7 months ago

"I just wish mom and dad would tax bad music like Backstreet boys or a Justin Bieber tax.".

Heh. Different kind of pop tax.

forgetful 5 years, 7 months ago

The bill specifically says "sugar," and, unless I'm blind (possible), I don't see the term "sugar" in the definitions at the beginning of the bill. Is "high fructose corn syrup," by definition, the same as "sugar?" I understand the intent, but I wonder if the Legislature is screwing up the language and, if passed, would only apply to drinks with actual "sugar" in them. What am I missing?

Clark Coan 5 years, 7 months ago

It won't pass for two reasons: 1) the House is controlled by Far Right crazies; 2) the campaign contributions to key legislators and heavy lobbying by the beverage industry will kill it.

I don't see a problem with taxing the "bads" such as alcohol, tobacco, sugar and salt. Also okay to tax luxuries such as furs, yachts, and jewelry. BTW, there used to be a federal excise tax on sugar.

SettingTheRecordStraight 5 years, 7 months ago

Why would you want to surrender even a nickel more of your income to the government?

Alexander Neighbors 5 years, 7 months ago

hahaha, All you have to do is sell the Carbonated Water (unsweetened) and the Syrup(cola Syrup Sweetened) Separate ! The consumer will have to mix the two to get the Desired Effect !

Tax Avoided.......

Stephen Roberts 5 years, 7 months ago

Go ahead an tax soda. I travel to Overland Parl every couple of weeks, maybe I will travel a little farther East to Missouri and buy soda there and bring it to Kansas.

whats_going_on 5 years, 7 months ago

yes, because THAT would be more cost efficient............................

whats_going_on 5 years, 7 months ago

To drink less soda, or less salt (as mentioned in a previous post) is good for one's health. Why is this such a problem, just stop drinking so much soda. It'll make you healthier, and you'll save money. Seems like a win-win to me.

mdrndgtl 5 years, 7 months ago

I'm curious, which side of the aisle proposed this tax?

aequitas 5 years, 7 months ago


When your body get's too fat from drinking surgary drinks and we're all paying for your healthcare when you have (insert any obesity related health problem), will you still want the law off it?

Regular soda is one of the worse things you can put in your body. Similar to cigarretes only that kids can obtain it legally.

mom_of_three 5 years, 7 months ago

wait till they start taxing something that you like, that they say is bad for you. I know pop isnt good for me, but i like to have my can a day.

At this rate, everyone will have something taxed that they like, and then we give it up. What fun is in that? Maybe they are on to something....start taxing sex and then teenagers can't have it and it will go away.....people would stop

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