How Sweet The Tax?

Feb 13, 2015

A coalition of Vermonters has once again asked the Vermont legislature to take up the issue of adding a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages. They want to see two cents added to the cost of every ounce of soda.

Opponents of the idea say it's a regressive tax that will hurt poor Vermonters and that we shouldn't use taxes to try to change dietary habits. Backers of the plan say the average person consumes 45 gallons of these drinks every year. And that there's a clear link to obesity.

Anthony Iarrapino, campaign director of the Alliance for a Healthier Vermont and a supporter of the idea, and Jim Harrison, president of the Vermont Retail & Grocers Association and an opponent, discuss whether the state should institute the tax.

Post your questions or comments about a sugar-sweetened beverage tax here or email them to vermontedition@vpr.net.

Also on the program, Vermont Press Bureau Reporter Neal Goswami provides analysis of Governor Shumlin's proposed .7% payroll tax to increase reimbursement rates to providers that treat people on Medicaid.

Broadcast live on Fri., Feb. 13, 2015 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.