On Food and Beverage Taxes: Give Me a Break

By January 31, 2011General, Taxation

With state legislatures meeting amid budget crises, the Americans Against Food Taxes group has started running a semi-new TV advocacy ad. The spot, “Give Me a Break,” is excellent. Conclusion: “Government needs to trim its budget fat and leave our grocery budgets alone.”

A different version ran in the fall, aimed at voters and candidates.

And credit where credit is due, that is, to the recently appointed New York Health Commissioner and the man who appointed him, Gov. Andrew Cuomo. From The New York Daily News, Jan. 25, “New Health Commissioner Nirav Shah says he won’t push for soda ‘fat tax’“:

ALBANY – Have a Coke and a smile: the state’s new health commissioner said Monday he has no plans to push for a “fat tax” on soda.

Dr. Nirav Shah, who was confirmed unanimously by the state Senate, said later that Gov. Cuomo’s no-new-taxes pledge extends to soda and other sugary drinks “at this time.”

Ex-Gov. David Paterson and Shah’s predecessor, Richard Daines, were staunch supporters of the fat tax as a way to combat childhood obesity. The Legislature rejected the idea.

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