New York Governor Tags Soda Tax as Essential

New York Governor Tags Soda Tax as Essential

New York Governor David Paterson and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg have revealed that a penny- per-ounce tax on sugary beverages is essential to curb obesity and recoup some of the billions of dollars a year spent on healthcare to treat people living with diabetes and other diseases.

"Someone has got to contribute to the $7.6 billion the state spends every year to treat diseases from obesity", Paterson told reporters after speaking at a symposium in Albany about a tax on sweetened soft drinks.

In January, Paterson had proposed a soda tax in his budget plan for the second year in a row. However, legislators posed disapproval for the measure last year, it was fulfilled again this year with protests from New York bottlers and vendors.

"New Yorkers know that taxes don't make people healthy, they cost jobs and hurt working families. This is a job-killing tax that will devastate grocers and other retailers", posted Nelson Eusebio, the chairman of New Yorkers Against Unfair Taxes, in a statement backed by a number of state senators.

Bloomberg, who earlier in his administration initiated a ban on smoking in New York City bars and restaurants, would require the state's approval to impose a New York City soda tax.