Nearly three decades after a U.S. state last imposed a special tax on sugary drinks, Connecticut’s governor is pushing for one to help close a budget deficit — and bracing for a fight.
Taxes on soda and other sugar-loaded drinks have taken effect in recent years in several cities around the country, but lobbying from the beverage industry and its allies has been credited with helping to block statewide proposals that emerge annually in state legislatures around the country.
“The industry lobbying is going to be pretty ferocious. I don’t know if the legislature can stand up to it,” said Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, a Democrat, who included 1.5-cent-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened drinks in his budget proposal.
Connecticut is among several states likely to see debate renewed this year over taxes that advocates endorse as a way to reduce consumption of liquid calories blamed for contributing to health problems such as obesity and diabetes. Opponents argue the taxes hurt stores and supermarkets as well as beverage producers, while inflicting financial harm on consumers.
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by susan haigh | associated press
april 1, 2019