Name English June 2, 2015 Should Sugary Drinks Be Taxed Like Cigarettes? Sugary drinks have been the subject of recent controversial debates in terms of potentials for being taxed, as proposed initially in the city of Richmond in California…
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The people who oppose the imposition of taxes on sugary drinks include Mohammed Elzofri, a reported store owner; Corky Booze, an alleged former auto racer; and various agencies such as the American Beverage Association, which governs the beverage industry and particularly supports companies such as “Coke, Pepsi, Red Bull, and Gatorade” (Should Sugary Drinks Be Taxed Like Cigarettes? Calif. City Considering Idea par. 25); as well as the Americans Against Food Taxes. According to Elzofri, imposing taxes on sugary drinks, particularly on sodas would significantly be detrimental to the poor people and to business owners like him. His support was that more than 80 percent of people who purchase from his store buy sugary drinks and thus, imposing a tax on these would definitely make the drinks more expensive and possibly prohibitive. It was revealed that a tax on a two-liter drink would be tantamount to an addition of 68 cents to the current selling price. Concurrently, Booze was reported to have averred that the government should not dictate what people should or should not consume and the imposition of the tax on sugary drinks would be most hurtful to the local community. He noted that the poor people who do not have the means to leave the city and purchase these drinks in other cities that do not impose taxes on them would be left with no options except to contend with these or not to purchase them at all. While other local citizens who could afford to leave Richmond would just purchase these drinks in other cities. This was corroborated by the American Beverage Association which shared Booze’s contentions that the imposition of taxes on sugary drinks would be most hurtful to those who could not afford. On the other hand, the people who were reported to openly support the imposition of taxes on sugary drinks include Dr. Jeff Ritterman, a cardiologist and also the city councilman; Doria Robinson, a noted community activist; and Dr. Kristen Bibbin Domingo, who is allegedly an internist at the University of California, San Francisco. According to Ritterman, the imposition of taxes on sugary drinks is seen as an effective way to prevent obesity. This was supported by Domingo, who apparently conducted a study on the effect of a tax imposition on sugary drinks to health and medical costs. As disclosed by Domingo, “a nationwide penny-per-ounce soda tax would reduce consumption by 15 percent and would, over a 10-year period, prevent several million diabetes cases and nearly 100,000 heart disease cases, as well as saving $17 billion in medical costs” (Should Sugary Drinks Be Taxed Like Cigarettes? Calif. City Considering Idea par. 30). In addition to substantial savings on medical costs, the tax imposition would allegedly generate as much as $3 million in revenues, as alleged by Ritterman. These are definite benefits for the city and for the health of the constituents. As added by Ritterman, the revenues could be earmarked from programs such as “local sports fields, diabetes treatment for low-income children, and school-based nutrition classes” (Should Sugary Drinks Be Taxed Like Cigarettes? Calif. City Considering Idea par. 12). Likewise, Robinson, the community activist concurred that a tax on sugary drinks would eventually assist in breaking the addiction on sodas; and therefore, corroborates Ritterman’
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