Sugary Drink Taxes

Federal and state governments should levy excise taxes on soda and other sugary drinks both to raise revenues to pay for health coverage and prevention programs, and also to decrease consumption of products that promote obesity, diabetes, and other costly chronic diseases. Americans spend approximately $147 billion a year on medical expenditures related to obesity, of which half is paid with Medicare and Medicaid dollars. Find out what you can do to help discourage sugary drink consumption in your community.

Why Tax Sugary Drinks?

Key Components of a Sugary Drink Tax

Sugary Drink Tax Q & A

Existing Sugary Drink Taxes

Understanding the Future Policy Implications of the Richmond and El Monte, CA 2012 Soda Tax Ballot Measures

During the past election, voters in Richmond and El Monte, California considered two similar ballot proposals to tax sugary drinks. Strong opposition from the beverage industry and its allies handily defeated both measures. Nonetheless, the results have not dampened enthusiasm for a price and tax strategy to help reduce the consumption of unhealthy sugary drinks.

A recent webinar hosted by CSPI provided a retrospective view of the California proposals, described lessons learned, and offered implications for future ballot soda-tax initiatives. Expert speakers specifically addressed message framing, campaign organization, and industry tactics, and provided motivation for future soda tax proposals.

  • Listen to the webinar recording here.
  • View webinar presentation slides here.

  • Liquid Candy Tax Calculator

    Americans consume huge quantities of soft drinks, which promote obesity and other health problems. Obesity alone costs $147 billion a year in medical expenditures, half of which are paid through Medicare and Medicaid. Taxing soft drinks is an effective approach for cash-strapped federal and state governments looking for ways to fund health care and disease-prevention programs.

    To estimate how much revenue the federal government or your state could generate from an excise and/or sales tax on soft drinks, enter sample tax rates into the Liquid Candy Tax Calculator. For technical information, see notes about the calculator.

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