Soda Spending Helps Sink Tax Proposal in Telluride

Statement of CSPI Executive Director Michael F. Jacobson


As we saw in Richmond and El Monte, California, it’s hard for local health advocates to go head to head against Coca-Cola and the rest of the beverage lobby, which is able to pour enormous resources into a small town like Telluride. But we actually expect many more local governments and state legislatures to propose similar taxes on soda in coming months and years. A penny-per-ounce tax is high enough to generate a substantial amount of revenue, and it’s also sufficient to make a dent in consumption, spurring a switch to water or healthier drinks. Tax revenue aside, reducing soda consumption is one of the most important things that governments and individuals can do to prevent weight gain, obesity, diabetes, and other health problems.

It will be interesting to see how well the soda industry fares when it isn't fighting off these taxes one city at a time, but is facing dozens of soda tax proposals simultaneously. In time, we expect that more and more cities and towns will come to resent Big Soda’s heavy-handed opposition to their efforts to promote health … and will benefit from the easy and fair revenue soda taxes could raise.