CHICAGO -- Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) introduced a bill this week in the U.S. House that would impose a national tax on sugar-sweetened beverages.
DeLauro's bill, called the SWEET Act, officially the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Tax Act (HR 5279), would levy a 1¢ tax on manufacturers, producers and distributors for every teaspoon of sugar in most beverages.
The law, which would exempt drinks including milk and 100% fruit juices, targets beverages with added sugar.
Congress has not considered a soda tax since 2009, when lawmakers weighed the idea of a sugary beverage tax to help pay for the healthcare overhaul signed in 2010. Under DeLauro's bill, revenue raised from a sugary beverage tax would be put toward a fund created under the Affordable Care Act, the Prevention and Public Health Fund.
Trending online is a New York Times op-ed by Mark Bittman, who has been called a Nanny State supporter by conservatives, who says it's about time for a sugary soda tax.
While the bill is not likely to pass this year, Bittman points out in his piece that the first national healthcare bill was introduced in 1939, and the first federal anti-smoking legislation was proposed in the 1960s. So this is definitely a proposal that the vending industry needs to keep an eye on.