Democrat lawmakers in Washington DC are proposing a tax on sugary drinks in an effort to deter people from purchasing sugary drinks.
Brianne Nadeau, a Democrat member of the city council, introduced a proposal that would create an excise tax of 1.5 cents per ounce on “sugary drinks.”
The legislation would repeal an existing 8% sales tax on “sugary drinks,” which is 2% higher than DC’s sales tax.
“One thing that COVID-19 has made abundantly clear is that we need to get serious about addressing health inequities in the District,” said Nadeau in a press release. “In drafting this bill, I brought together members of the communities impacted by health disparities, health experts and advocates to identify areas where public health interventions and investments can make a difference in the health and lives of our communities.”
“The legislation takes important steps toward providing equitable access to nutritious food for District residents experiencing homelessness by requiring that meals served at the District’s shelters and transitional housing are consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and by applying greater oversight over food service vendors,” continues the release. “It also establishes grants to support nutrition education, cooking lessons, and gardens at family shelters and transitional housing to create healthy environments.”
“This excise tax would go right on the product,” said Mary Cheh, a co-sponsor of the bill, to WTOP-TV. “Thereby making it apparent to the purchaser that it is more expensive than it was.”
A similar proposal failed in the city in 2019.