Candy-Soda tax proponents make another effort

22News explains how lawmakers are making another effort to tax candy and sugary drinks.

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NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP)- Those who want to tax candy and soda didn’t get anywhere with Deval Patrick in office even with his support.  And they face a larger hurdle with Governor Charlie Baker.

A handful of Democrats want the state’s 6.25 percent sales tax to apply candy and soda.

With the 6.25 percent state sales tax any piece of candy you pick up could cost about 10 cents extra, which may not mean much to the average kid that runs through a candy shop, but it’s the message that makes a difference to store owners.

Tax supporters say it would generate about $52 million dollars in new revenue, and get people thinking about their  health.

The owner of “Captain Candy” in Northampton told 22News such a tax won’t change the way people think. “Tax candy because we need the revenue. No problem at all. Changing the taxes because we want to adjust the health issues. I think that’s a really bad idea.”

Candy tax revenues would fund physical activity programs in public schools. Michelle Lacroix, a mother and teacher from West Harford, Connecticut told 22News, “Having a candy bar or having a soda once in a while. It’s great to teach children that’s okay but we also have to tell our legislatures and our local officials that they have to have balance when it comes to having us pay taxes as well.”

The tax would not apply to juices with natural sugars.

Governor Baker has opposed new or higher taxes and tax hike advocates would need support from two thirds of the House and Senate to overcome a veto.

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