FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 2, 2011
AUSTIN — Earlier this week, Senator Lucio filed SB 1004, which would tax sodas at the rate of one penny per ounce.
"There are solutions to the budget mess we find ourselves in which do not involve making drastic cuts to vital services," Lucio Said. "The Texas legislature should be exploring these solutions."
Preliminary research suggests that a soda tax at a penny per ounce could yield $4 billion over the course of the 2012-13 biennium. However, Texas could securitize the revenue - issue bonds based on future soda tax revenue - which could raise billions more.
"We've got to have alternatives other than cuts. This bill would help retain teachers and critical medical services," Lucio said.
Constitutionally, tax bills have to originate in the House of Representatives, making SB 1004 subject to a point of order.
"The point of this bill is to get a conversation started," Lucio said. "Not only would a bill like this raise revenue that could go to healthcare and education, it would help us save money in the long run by cutting expenses associated with health issues like obesity and diabetes."
According to the Center for Public Policy Priorities, a meaningful soda tax would lead to "a decrease in sweetened beverage consumption, and that in turn is going to lead to less weight gain per year and lower rates of obesity both among children and adults" (source: CPPP, http://tinyurl.com/4qu5595)
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