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Mass. Senate Approves Limit On Vending Machine Fee Increases

Posted On: 5/25/2012

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Massachusetts budget, vending machine fees, Massachusetts vending machine fee hike, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Massachusetts Vending Association, Shaunna O'Connell, vending operator, vending machine tax, calorie-labeling rules for vending machines

BOSTON -- The Massachusetts Senate has passed a budget amendment that would prevent the state's Department of Health from raising the licensing fee for vending machines more than 100% in a calendar year. The department had proposed a 567% fee hike from $3 a machine to $20.

The amendment to the House's proposed $32.4 billion fiscal 2013 budget, filed by Rep. Shaunna O'Connell (R-Taunton) and approved by the House last month, would cap any increase at $6 a machine in the coming year. | SEE STORY

The Health Department said the additional $375,000 that would be raised by the fee increase would help fund vending machine inspections related to the state's ban of sugary drinks and fatty snacks in schools, as well as pending federal calorie-labeling requirements.

Proponents of the amendment, which awaits the Gov. Deval Patrick's approval, are confident that it will pass since it's attached to the state budget.