Texas lawmaker proposes "soda tax"

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by Tiffany Craig/KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on February 7, 2013 at 11:37 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 7 at 11:40 PM

HOUSTON -- A San Antonio lawmaker wants to add a penny per ounce tax on sugary drinks like soda. He says the money would then help fund public education and promote a healthier lifestyle.

"I think that any kind of sales tax as it applies to soda drinks is ridiculous," said Amanda Gross who was buying a fountain drink at a Houston convenience store. "I think that if we wanna make real change in people's health, it starts with good diet, exercise, quit smoking, stop drinking."

The tax could add an estimated $2 billion dollars to the state's public education fund and might promote a healthier lifestyle, according to state Rep. Joe Farias (D-San Antonio).

Charles Mbah says he loves Coke and a ‘soda tax’ won't change his habits.

"The passion I have for Coke does not make me look at a penny an ounce as a deterrent to take Coke," he said.

Jack Anderson feels the same way.

"I drink a lot of caffeine so I will probably continue to drink it no matter how much they raise the price," said Anderson.

The tax would not include diet soda, fruit or sports drinks.

Rep. Farias first tried to introduce a ‘soda tax’ in 2011, but it went ‘flat.’

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