Should your city tax soda? | The Tylt

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Should your city tax soda?
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Several cities, including San Francisco and Boulder, have upcoming ballot propositions to create a tax on sugary drinks like soda. People who support the tax say it could reduce consumption and raise money to combat obesity. Opponents say the tax will hurt small businesses, limits personal freedom, and worry the tax money won't be used appropriately to combat health issues. Should you city tax soda? Read more and vote below!

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Should your city tax soda?
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This is not a soda tax, it's a grocery tax. Do we really need to tax every little thing we consume?

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Here's a strange political twist. Liberals and especially progressives tend to support the soda taxbut not Bernie Sanders who called it "a regressive grocery tax that would disproportionately affect low-income and middle-class Americans."

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In the spirit of "follow the money," this Vox image shows where funding is coming from both sides of the soda tax campaign. Unsurprisingly, Big Soda is the source behind much of the anti-tax media spends. Many say it's bad information that you can't trust. 

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The city of Berkeley created a soda tax in 2014 and researchers say it has indeed cut down consumption of soda, in some places by as much as 20 percent. Just look at what taxes on cigarettes have done to curb the number of smokers. Imagine how many lives could have been saved if that tax had been implemented earlier. Obesity and Type-2 diabetes can be life-threatening.

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The story of how a community stood up for children's health against one of the world's most powerful industriesand won.

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The World Health Organization recently came out with a report suggesting cities should tax soda at a rate of up to 20% but many are balking at the idea. 

Almost all the critiques fall into the following categories:

  1. The tax will be felt disproportionately by the poor.
  2. The tax will impact small businesses.
  3. People may ditch soda, but they could pick up even worse drinks. Studies suggest milk will be consumed more which could increase overall caloric intake. A 2012 study suggests beer consumption could increase. 
  4. The government shouldn't be able to tip the scales on what people drink. 
  5.  The money raised won't be spent appropriately. 
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It's hard to trust any of the reasons or studies being used by the anti-tax side. Big Soda is using the same playbook as Big Tobacco from 20 years ago. 

FINAL RESULTS
Politics
Should your city tax soda?
#SodaTax
A festive crown for the winner
#DrinkFree