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Politics as Usual: Soda tax has gone flat, lawmaker says

The Register-Mail, By Marty Hobe
April 16, 2015
A proposed soda tax to help fund efforts to stop obesity and diabetes was a cause for concern from the Galesburg Area Chamber of Commerce, which spoke met local lawmakers earlier this week.”We’ve had folks in our chamber community contact our office and say the negative impact it would have on them, on their bottom line, on their staffing capabilities,” said Chamber Executive Director Steve Brody.The proposed tax would levy a 1 cent tax per ounce on regular and diet sodas, energy drinks and other sugary beverages. Also, businesses would need obtain a permit to sell those drinks, which would cost them $250.

A similar measure failed in the statehouse last year and this time state Rep. Don Moffitt said he doesn’t expect anything different this time around.

“It would create another bureaucracy, raise taxes, with the idea of fighting obesity and diabetes,” Moffitt said. “Last year, this did not advance. At the moment I would say the chances are not very good.”

Moffitt, chairman of the self-created “retrofit caucus,” said he has his own plan to fight diabetes and obesity.

“We do need to address obesity and we do need to address diabetes, and I have a plan,” the Gilson Republican said. “It’s called you put one foot in front of the other and you do that 10,000 times a day and keep your calories between 1500 and 2000, and you’ll have smaller government and solve those problems.”

“We have the answer, we don’t need another government program to do it, so we’ll vote no and do everything we can to stop it,” Moffitt also said.

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