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Nebraska Lawmaker Wants To End Soda Tax Exemption

Posted On: 1/18/2013

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TAGS: vending, vending machine, Nebraska vending machine tax, Sen. Bill Avery, Nebraska sales tax exemption for carbonated beverages, Dr. Bob Rauner, packaged soft drinks

LINCOLN, NE -- Nebraska state Sen. Bill Avery (D) is sponsoring a measure that would end the Nebraska sales tax exemption for carbonated beverages.

Avery partnered with Dr. Bob Rauner, the chairman of the Nebraska Medical Association Public Health Committee, to draft the bill. The Nebraska Healthy Kids Act designates 70% of the predicted tax revenue to fund a statewide school wellness program to combat obesity and the balance to local health departments.

Nebraska currently labels packaged soft drinks as food, which exempts them from a 7% state and city sales tax levied on other nonfood items. Fountain drinks already are subject to the tax.

Rauner said that by revoking the exemption on bottled or canned soft drinks, the state would rake in around $11 million.

Sen. Avery introduced a similar bill last year, but it never made it to the full Legislature.