Archive for Monday, March 15, 2010

Kansas Senate committee considering whether to levy ‘soda tax’

Cost of can of Coke would go up a dime

March 15, 2010


— A Kansas Senate committee is reviewing a proposal to impose a new tax on soda and other sugary drinks.

The bill before the Assessment and Taxation Committee sets the tax at a penny for every teaspoon of sugar.

The new tax would increase the cost of a 12-ounce can of soda by a dime and generate $90 million for the state during the fiscal year beginning July 1.

The committee plans to have a hearing on the measure Wednesday and is considering it as a way to help erase a budget shortfall.

The tax would apply not only to soda and to ginger ales, root beers and lemon-limes but to other "flavored" beverages with less than 10 percent real fruit or vegetable juice.


skinny 8 years ago

This has to be a joke. If the Kansas Senate committee doesn't have anything better to do with their time maybe they need to start looking at cuttng their pay to save the state some money!

mickeyrat 8 years ago

Will there be an exemption for soda served in casinos?

flux 8 years ago

When the economy levels out, these taxes will remain in play and thats what frustrates me. How about we learn to live within our budget?

John Hamm 8 years ago

What in the name of God is wrong with these people?! They have absolutely no idea what the word "budget" means or feel our money is theirs for the taking.

tomatogrower 8 years ago

Late last night I saw an editorial on Channel 9 by the general manager, who is way overweight, by the way. He was whining about the soda tax that was proposed, because he said that Kansas should just live within their means. Why should this fat man give up or pay more for his sugar fix, so kids can get a good education? I was waiting for him to say he was kidding, but he was serious. What a moron. I say go for it. I drink a soda now and then, and am willing to pay more. And I would really be happy with it, if it was earmarked only for education.

feeble 8 years ago

soda, junk food, these are luxuries of the highest order. Tax 'em like liquor and cigarettes.

According to 2007, over 25% of the population of Kansas is obese:

Also according to 2007 data, 7%+ of the overall population in Kansas is diabetic. Rates of diabetes for those under 20 is less than 1%, rates for over 20 increase alarmingly in the 60+ age group (more than 20%).

All Kansans have a stake in this, as Kansas foots the bill, in part or in whole, for many of these public health problems.

flux 8 years ago

Taxation is not the solution to poor management

Deb Stavin 8 years ago

Tax the companies that manufacture the sodas.

classclown 8 years ago

Good idea. Target the whole population with a tax rather than only certain segments of it. Tax bottled water too.

tomatogrower 8 years ago

dstavin (anonymous) says… Tax the companies that manufacture the sodas.

First, they would just pass the tax onto you. Second, that would go against the conservative creed. Don't you know that you're suppose to cut taxes to businesses, so they'll create jobs. Of course, everyone is still waiting for that huge influx of businesses and jobs.

TheGreatOz 8 years ago

Drinking soda is not the main reason for obesity. Leading a sedentary lifestyle is what leads to obesity.

If they tax sodas, what's next?

impska 8 years ago

There lies the problem Vertigo. At an extra 1.20 per 12 pack and 2.40 per 24 pack, most people will cut back or eliminate it. So while the state will see some extra revenue, it won't be as much as they think, and it will be at the expense of the city sales taxes from all over Kansas.

But then, if the budget shortfall is temporary, then they only need a temporary tax (or they could cut waste - but that sounds hard, I wouldn't want them to strain themselves), and if the shortfall is permanent, then it's not really a "budget" if they tax their way out of it.

tomatogrower 8 years ago

Agnostick (anonymous) says… tomatogrower, there has been a huge influx of businesses and jobs. You're just in the wrong country!

Good point.

ivalueamerica 8 years ago

Like Cigarette and Alchohol taxes, indulgence of fatty foods has created a public health problem that costs us a lot of money. I would be glad to see this tax, but I would demand the legislature only use it to address the issue, prevention of obesity and to lower medical costs for the rest of us.

Cigarette taxes should be used to reduce smoking and lower health care costs for the rest of us.

Alchohol taxes should go to reduce alchoholism, support our police force and reduce health care costs.

Theses sin taxes are paid for by people committing these sins and cover their costs..I see nothing wrong with it....if...and that is a big IF..the government spends the money accordingly.

Jimo 8 years ago

Since soda lacks any significant nutritional value and is bad for you each and every time you drink it, AND given that, whether health insurance reform passes or not, the taxpayer still will have to pay for the consequences of others' over-consumption, I'm all in favor of it. Raise it even higher.

Jeremy DeBoard 8 years ago

What, you all thought it was going to stop with alcohol and tobacco? Haha, so funny

Danielle Brunin 8 years ago

What about Nesquik milk? I'm assuming they're going to tax it too because it is actually worse than a lot of pop.

Nesquik Double Chocolate Reduced Fat Milk: Calories 400
Total Fat 10 grams, 6 saturated (30% daily allowance) Carbs 60 grams (20% DA) Sugar 56 grams

I'm not opposed to the tax per se, but when bonehead politicians jump on the buzz word of the day bandwagon, they usually end up making things worse.

ferrislives 8 years ago

tomatogrower, how can we as voters think that our school district, or any other school district in Kansas for that matter, would manage any new funds properly when they've squandered the money from several bonds passed over the past several years?

Do you remember all of the promises that the school board has given us regarding the supposedly temporary bus fees, school fees, etc. that occurred during better times? When will they realize that they need to spend what they have? If I budgeted for my family in the same way that the school board has chosen to do over the past several years, I'd probably have to file bankruptcy.

Everyone is living in difficult financial times right now, and the school boards in Kansas need to accept the reality of the situation. Like they say, you can't get blood from a turnip.

ferrislives 8 years ago

These sin tax laws are a slippery slope.

SnakeFist 8 years ago

If we're going to tax things that are bad for us, then tax stupidity. I'd rather be unhealthy and smart than healthy and stupid.

Flap Doodle 8 years ago

"Agnostick (anonymous) says… Have You Heard of the Electronic Can of Soda?" Good one, Agnostick.

nobody1793 8 years ago

I really really wish we had an "internet comment-posting tax".

Jay Keffer 8 years ago

Better idea: Tax the television remote control.

Danielle Brunin 8 years ago

Make everyone wear a government-issued pedometer. At the end of each day, a satellite will read how many steps you've taken. If you don't meet the required number of steps for your demographic, you will be taxed and sent a bill at the beginning of the month. It may get kind of expensive for the obese, elderly, and disabled people, particularly those in wheelchairs, but what a way to raise revenue!

classclown 8 years ago

Best idea yet. Maybe LJW can charge 25 cents per post. Set it up so that when a user wants to post a comment, she or he hits Submit/Paypal in order to post.

Or send a bill to where ever the ip the post is from is located.

Jeremy DeBoard 8 years ago

Agnostick (anonymous) says…

Have we passed any other taxes that could directly affect the under-18 crowd? Or could this be the first?

No, alcohol and tobacco were first. They may not be purchasing them legally, but according to all the hyped statistics on child drug use, we're raising boozing chimneys.

But this tax will also be for the greater good, oink.

ontheroadfitness 8 years ago

While I don't condone government sticking their noses in our personal lives, there is one area where I'd like to see more oversight and/or regulations, and that's on the types of food people can buy with Vision Cards / Food Stamps. The WIC program only allows parents to buy nutritious products for their children... they clearly define the food products that can be purchased, and most, if not all, of those products are healthy. With Vision Cards, it's a different story. People can buy chips, soda, just about any food that has no real nutritional value. Why can't this system be overhauled and allow for only food that meets certain nutritional guidelines to be purchased?

gr 8 years ago

Paulette, you are a broken record. Think man. If there was only one corporation, their total taxes would be very small.

Your percentages might really show that there are not many corporations instead.

Along the same lines, what is the total percentage of revenue generated by people making under 15K? Do you suggest we tax them more?

Increase Paulette's personal taxes to 7% of the total revenue!

gr 8 years ago

Since the topic is soda tax, why stop at beverages? Why not tax anything with sugar. Why not candy bars, too. No intent for any nutrition there. Speaking of candy, don't forget all the cereal boxes. And don't forget the peanut butter. And "healthy" granola bars. And especially donuts. Just take a walk down the supermarket isles and tax most everything in site.

But wouldn't it be easier to just tax the sugar companies and then you wouldn't have to go and target each type of food?

Why stop at sugar? What is the reason, because it's unhealthy? Well, what about fat? And then what about meat? That would cover both sin tax and global warming hype. Two in one!

oohmgrover 8 years ago

Does this include things like Diet Coke, that don't have real sugar?

Jeremy DeBoard 8 years ago

It would not include alternatives sweeteners, such as the neurological destroying aspartame or the tumor and cancer causing Acesulfame Potassium.

Also they are only looking at sugar, so corn syrup and HFCS would also not be taxed.

Gotta love it though. The only "good" sweetener is the one they're looking to tax.

tomatogrower 8 years ago

Since the topic is soda tax, why stop at beverages? Why not tax anything with sugar. Why not candy bars, too. No intent for any nutrition there.

What! What! Chocolate is good for you. :>)

Boston_Corbett 8 years ago

oh god. Fluoride wars. Can thimerisol and vaccine wars be far behind. Great threadjack by the unemployed architect, paulette.

I hear Traenor's hiring, Paulette. Go get some work.

Jeremy DeBoard 8 years ago

Just for you Boston.

Come on people. We all know why we must stop using sugar, and thereby taxing it into extinction. And that something is Bears! We all know they're soulless killing machines who will break into your home to devour you and your tasty treats. Sugar also attracts bees, which make honey, which attracts bears to your soft pink flesh.

So in conclusion: No sugar, no bees, no honey, no bears!

RKLOG 8 years ago

Oh god the sugar high just hit me! The havershambled rustic bliss inaugurated! Roger Moore truckhenge hullabaloo?!! I am driven car seat turmoil!!!

The mist taste like extreme window wash, undue Manx, Trevor Howard!! I feel better.

barrypenders bless us all.

badger 8 years ago

So, uh, if the federal government got into this 'soda tax' business instead of just state government, could that lead to a situation where soda drinkers were being taxed to provide the same tax dollars that pay for the very corn subsidies that make HFCS so cheap?

And is that ironic, or just sad?

Nonannytax 8 years ago

Has someone missed the importance of increasing consumer spending? While we're at it, what about employment? Why would the State want to do something that encourages less spending and may result in job loss in order to generate more taxes on one hand and decrease tax revenue on the other? Seems like cutting off your nose to spite your face. Very short signted of government as usual. This is a vote I want to know about and how the people I elected voted. It's easy to go after sin taxes but in this case they went too far. Who among us doesn't consume sugar in our food or beverages? We stood by and didn't care about alcohol and tobacco being taxed because it didn't affect us and now they've moved on to our dinner table. Hits home doesn't it?

tomatogrower 8 years ago

Nonannytax (anonymous) says… Has someone missed the importance of increasing consumer spending? While we're at it, what about employment? Why would the State want to do something that encourages less spending and may result in job loss in order to generate more taxes on one hand and decrease tax revenue on the other?

People aren't going to buy fewer sodas, because it costs a little more. The price has been going up recently anyway, and I don't think sales have slumped.

Stephen Roberts 8 years ago

Maybe they should impose an additional $0.50 tax on sports and entertainment tickets in the state of Kansas? Think about how much money would be raised.

independant1 8 years ago

Soda tax? Last year we said, 'Things can't go on like this', and they didn't, they got worse. (Will Rogers)

kimmydarling 8 years ago

I'm seeing people wanking on about people with vision cards buying "unhealthy" food. Oh god forbid poor people occasionally get the chance to have a potato chip. They should just gnaw on those bootstraps you guys are so fond of telling them to pull themselves up by, yes?

I'd love to see the US ban the use of HFCS in foods the same way other countries have. The french eat more traditionally fatty foods than the US does and yet our obesity rate is 1/6th of what ours is. We hit at what, 64%? They're at 11. They don't allow a sugar that has essentially found its way into all of our foods and for the most part they're better off for it.

So finding a way to discourage mass consumption of drinks that are nothing but HFCS? I'm all for it. I get my coke (when I drink it) in 12 oz glass bottles made in mexico with cane sugar. It's better than the 20 oz syrup drinks on shelves in the US

kimmydarling 8 years ago duffman thrusting in the vicinity of the problem?

monkeyspunk 8 years ago

Won't happen kimmydarling, HFCS has a good friend. Two words:



HFCS is everywhere and in everything. It's even in some brands of whole grain wheat bread!

If the Gov't really wants to affect the health of our nation, they can start by subsidizing American grown vegetables and fruits heavily, to drive down their cost. We subsidize grain heavily, to very little real benefit. Bread is still very expensive, and healthy bread is outrageous. Grain fed beef is still over priced as are other animals that feed on corn.

its all OK though, because at this rate, we will all need to start learning Chinese so we can pronounce all of the foods our new landlords will be forcing on us. I can say "rice", i guess that is a start.

kimmydarling 8 years ago

I buy through CSAs and local farmers when I can. I am, more and more, simply making all of my essential foods including bread just so I can know what's in it. of course, artificial sweeteners deadening the system to tasting actual sweet tastes thus causing over consumption of sweet stuff to meet the same levels isn't helping.

Americans demand fast, easy food and unfortunately that's coming with the price of being mostly chemicals

Nonannytax 8 years ago


"People aren't going to buy fewer sodas, because it costs a little more. The price has been going up recently anyway, and I don't think sales have slumped."

Good thing our founding fathers didn't have the same attitude or we would still be paying our taxes to the Queen of England. The problem with this is that Government keeps taxing things one by one and before you know it they will hit an item you care about and you will be the first to not see how similar it is and how wrong it is. My issue isn't with a certain item, it is with the mind set to increases taxes using 'I know what's best for you" as the purpose. I don't think we ever want our elected leaders to lose sight of who they serve and not the other way around.

monkeyspunk 8 years ago

Barry is confused again, must not have taken his meds.

Posting off topic, using a quote from someone who probably never even uttered the words..

And even if Marie Antionette had said that, she was a Conservative of the highest order.

It was the Liberals of France that cut off her head.

Silly, sad little man.

kimmydarling 8 years ago

Well since the actual quote is believed to be "let them eat s**t" .. I suppose that just proves she was another heartless conservative

royalsfan99 8 years ago

Here is what nobody is thbinking about.... there are people that are trying to support their families that work for the soda manufacturers. I am included. I work for a major soda manufacturer in Kansas. This tax would devesate our sales and therefore it would affect the employees that work for a living for these companies. We are in a difficult enoujgh economikc time as a society why try to devisate it even more.?

Nonannytax 7 years, 11 months ago

To all posters.

What is your point? We taxed the heck out of Alcohol/Cigarettes and people still buy them so that’s ok? It is not ok no matter what product it is. Someone does a poll to see which product would cause them the least lost votes and tax that, so far so good if you believe all the people on this post who seem to support a product they don’t use being taxed for the good of mankind. Apparently their polls are correct so far. What’s your hot button? What product would cause you to suddenly realize they are overstepping their bounds?
To allow this product by product taxation to continue until we tax your product is the purest form of self centeredness.

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