Brooklyn residents — and all New Yorkers — already pay a state sales tax for their favorite beverages. This new proposal place an additional tax on sugared beverages including certain juice drinks, sports drinks, teas and sodas.
During today’s tough economic times, it is outrageous to think that New Yorkers should bear the burden of fixing the governor’s budget problems. This is not just another tax. This is an unfair tax that will be detrimental to hard-working New Yorkers who are already feeling penny-pinched.
Not only that, but it will undoubtedly take away business from local grocers and supermarkets, who support so many local neighborhoods.
In addition to the state’s budget woes, Gov. Paterson is citing rising obesity rates as the reason for this tax. Certainly, the issue of obesity is a valid public health concern. But taxes won’t make people healthy. A balanced diet and exercise will. Science shows that balancing calorie intake is what’s most important in trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
This tax is by no means a done deal. New Yorkers need to make their voices heard. In 2009, New Yorkers put pressure on the state government, and stopped the tax on sugar-sweetened beverages in its tracks. The message was New Yorkers cannot handle any more of the governor’s irrational taxes and they won’t stand for it.
Unfortunately, it seems that the governor has a short memory and already forgot that the citizens of New York clearly said “NO!” to this tax one year ago.
Nelson Eusebio is the Chairman of New Yorkers Against Unfair Taxes, a coalition that includes New York citizens and business groups.