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Is a “Coke Tax” a threat to Free Refills?

Georgia will never go thirsty.A story in this today’s New York Times confirms what we have all feared for a while now: efforts to tax coke are moving forward in Congress.

Apparently the self-righteous tofu-types who are behind this proposal are pushing for a one cent per ounce tax on soft drinks and some juices.

John Sicher from Beverage Digest told the Times what the tax would mean for consumers:

…a two-liter bottle of soda sells for about $1.35. At 67.6 ounces, if the full tax was passed on to consumers, that would add 50 percent to the price. A 12-can case, which sells today for about $3.20, could rise by $1.44, a 45 percent increase.

A lifestyle tax that increases pop prices by 45-50 percent is bad enough, but what the Times article did not explore is what impact such a tax would have on Free Refills.

Would a coke tax be levied on drinks served at restaurants and bars? If so, the cost to restaurants of providing a free refill of a 20oz soda would jump from around 12 cents to over 30. If this tax becomes law it could end free refills as we know them.

Fortunately, the American Beverage Association has set up an astroturf organization called Americans Against Food Taxes to fight the proposal. You can read more about their efforts at www.nofoodtaxes.com. In the meantime, contact your representative and tell them it is time to stand up for Free Refills.

Previous topics mentioned in this post:

MINUTEMEN UPDATE: Senate considering Coke Tax

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12 Comments

  1. […] Is a “Coke Tax” a threat to Free Refills? Share This […]

  2. […] Is a “Coke Tax” a threat to Free Refills? Some of the soda tax proposals floating around would levy taxes on fountain drinks as well as cans and bottles. Would this mean the end of Free Refills? […]

  3. […] the last few weeks, the tofu- and sushi-eating crowd has been pushing to slap new taxes on soda and juice drinks in an effort to regulate what we eat. They say that sugary drinks are a public health issue because […]

  4. Erin Milbeck Wilcox says:

    Now you can calculate your revenue!

    http://yaleruddcenter.org/sodatax.aspx

    1. nowooski says:

      Thanks for the link. It gave me a new post idea.

  5. […] Is a “Coke Tax” a threat to Free Refills? (2nd month on the list!) A 1 cent per-ounce tax on soda would drastically change the economics of free refills. Might it spell the end of the most American of institutions? […]

  6. […] If instituted, this tax would have not only increased the price of a 12-pack by a whopping 36 percent, but it also threatened the institution of free refills. […]

  7. […] regressive tax that would threaten the very institution of free refills does not sound like a good example for the rest of the county to follow to […]

  8. […] is what I like to see: people standing up against the free refills-ending soda tax in Philadelphia. You can keep informed about the campaign to stop the soda tax by following […]

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