Gov. Ducey signs bill that bans extra taxes on soda and other sugary drinks

TUCSON, Ariz. - Governor Doug Ducey signed a bill into law that prevents Arizona cities and counties from taxing soda and sweet drinks.

It is the first bill of its kind in the country and is generating some debate. 

The law, also known as the "soda tax," bars cities, towns, and counties from applying extra taxes on the drinks. 

"I think there should be a little bit more of a tax on them I suppose," a Tucson resident said. 

Some say the tax would increase revenue.

"That would make more sense, If everyone is drinking it, why not make more money?" another Tucson resident stated.

However, representatives of grocery stores in the state of Arizona, support the new law. 

Some agree the government should not use tax rates to "pick winners and losers in foods and beverages we consume every day," Tim McCabe, a spokesperson with the Arizona Food Marketing Alliance, said in a statement.

McCabe also added:

"Government should stay out of interfering with our food and beverage choices. We shouldn't tell people what they can and can't eat. Why should people be picked on because of what they eat or drink?"

Jennifer Chancay with the Pima County Health Department says regardless, Arizona should always promote healthy eating.

There's an opportunity to have discussions at many levels in the community about we make healthy choices that are good for us the easy choices to make, she said.

"Is that through legislation, perhaps," Chancay added. 

Many cities across the United States have adopted the "soda tax" to reduce obesity and other health issues. There is currently no sign of any city in Arizona considering imposing sugar taxes on soda.

 

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