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Posted at 3:54 PM ET, 05/20/2010

D.C. soda tax likely dead

By Washington Post editors

A majority of D.C. Council members signaled their opposition Thursday to a 1-cent per ounce tax on soda, likely killing the proposal.

During budget negotiations, council members battled for more than an hour over a proposal by Council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3) to tax sugary sodas but not diet sodas, as a way of combating childhood obesity.

“This is the single, most significant, meaningful thing you can do for this problem,” Cheh said. “We can be a leader here. We can improve health and wellness.”

But council members Jack Evans (D-Ward 1), Harry Thomas (D-Ward 5), Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4) and Yvette Alexander (D-Ward 6) launched a ferocious assault on the proposal.

Bowers argued that poor families would suffer if the tax, which would add $1.44 to the cost of a six-pack, was approved.

Instead of holding a vote, Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D) all but declared Cheh’s proposal dead around 3:15 p.m.

Gray said he will instead ask his staff to come up with other possible ways to pay for the Cheh’s Health Schools initiative.

The proposal will not be in this year's budget.

-- Tim Craig

By Washington Post editors  | May 20, 2010; 3:54 PM ET
Categories:  DC  | Tags:  d.c. soda tax, soda tax  
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Comments

Anyone have any advice on how to cash in on the looming diabetes epidemic in DC?

Posted by: mendelsonmustgo | May 20, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

"Anyone have any advice on how to cash in on the looming diabetes epidemic in DC?"

Go after orange juice? lol

Posted by: cbmuzik | May 20, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

The soft drink bill fizzled out????

>>

Posted by: Paladin7b | May 20, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

The soft drink bill fizzled out????

>>

Posted by: Paladin7b | May 20, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

A bridge too far!

Posted by: johng1 | May 20, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

YEAH!!! This tax was idiotic on all levels. If Mary Cheh and her band of do-gooders want to promote healthier children how about encouraging the following: have children walk to and from school, get them off their phones, games and computers and send them out to play, do chores and run errands. You know...all the things that children once did. The way things go in DC I doubt very much that the tax would only be on "sugary drinks" much the way the bag tax ended up being charged on plastic bags at clothing stores just because they sold a little bit of candy at the register. ENOUGH TAXES ALREADY!!! Here's a thought - cut spending!!!!

Posted by: lostein | May 20, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Jack Evans is Ward-2. and he's about to get a letter from me, a resident of ward-2, telling him how ashamed I am to have him as my councilmember.

Posted by: outlawtorn103 | May 20, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Please check the arithmetic in the above article. A 1 cent tax per ounce would be a 64 cent tax for a six-pack of soda, not $1.44. Please don't rely on the beverage industry for your facts on this serious matter.

Posted by: GSBernardo | May 20, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

"Please check the arithmetic in the above article. A 1 cent tax per ounce would be a 64 cent tax for a six-pack of soda, not $1.44"

Might want to check yours. 6 pack of 12oz cans=72oz, .72 tax.

6 pack of 16oz bottles = 96oz, .96 tax.

To get to 64 cent tax for a 6 pack would need six 10.66666666666667 containers, never seen that size.


Posted by: BEEPEE | May 20, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Pathetic. No leadership.

There is no diet that requires the 100% empty calories of soda. They are free to buy untaxed diet sodas for a taste that is almost the same, but doesn't come with all of the calories that cause obesity.

Posted by: magnuson | May 20, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Yvette Alexander represents Ward 7...not Ward 6. Ward 6 is represented by Tommy Wells.

Posted by: venus31 | May 20, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Good--this like trying to put a band-aid on a deep long cut. I grew up in an era where we candy and soda machines in the schools and we did not have overweight. Why not, we walked to school. We played running games at recess. We played active games after school. Certainly you must consume almost all foods in moderation but soda is hardly the root of the problem.

Posted by: luchok | May 20, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

However, we did not learn to type :)

Posted by: luchok | May 20, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

IF POOR FAMILIES WOULD HAVE SUFFER BECAUSE OF THE TAX, MAYBE THEY NEED TO SERIOUSLY A CHANGE THEIR DIETS. SOFT DRINKS DO MORE DAMAGE WITH THE SUGAR CONTENT. LIDS WOULD DO MUCH BETTER WITH KOOL-AID SWEETENED WITH LOW CALORIE SWEETENERS SUCH AS EQUAL. IT'S LESS COSTLY SO EVERYONE WINS.

Posted by: skinfreak | May 20, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

"Bowers argued that poor families would suffer if the tax, which would add $1.44 to the cost of a six-pack, was approved."

Unless they responded by buying less.

Posted by: ravensfan20008 | May 20, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

I am confused. How can anyone oppose a tax on sodas? This to me is a no brainner and I drink my share of sodas. The District needs money and taxing something that is not healthy for you should be the first place to look. I guess politicians will never learn....

Posted by: maehenrie | May 20, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Actually sodas ARE the root of the problem.

HHS says they're the biggest cause of childhood obesity.

Posted by: coumaris | May 20, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

and don't forget to watch some BET while you're drinking some soda!

Posted by: SofaKingCool2009 | May 20, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

as a Ward 4 resident, I am truly angered by Muriel Bowser's vote and her totally illogical reasoning on the subject. regardless of the way she calculated the cost, it's obvious that she was hoodwinked by the soda industry and its sudden concern for the impoverished folks in our city. if they were truly concerned, they would be urging those folks to drink water instead of the empty calories they foist on the public. yes, turning off the TV and taking away the electronic gadgets would help address the obesity problem, but diet cannot be overlooked in addressing the issue.

Posted by: eomcmars | May 20, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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