Existing Soft Drink Taxes

At least 39 states and the cities of Chicago and Washington, D.C. have small, special taxes on sugary drinks sold in grocery stores and/or in vending machines. Of these states, 5 have vending machine only taxes and 6 states also have an excise tax or other fee in addition to the sales tax. (Taxes applied to soft drinks sold in vending machines are not typically special soft drink taxes, but rather a tax applied to all products sold in the vending machine).  Altogether, the states generate well over one billion dollars a year from those taxes.

Unfortunately, existing state taxes are too small to significantly reduce consumption and almost none of the revenues are earmarked for health promotion.

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Source: Bridging the Gap Program, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2011; available at: www.bridgingthegapresearch.org.

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