Let Mass. Be The First State To Tax Sugary Drinks
Be The First State To Tax Sugary Drinks.
Right now, Massachusetts has the opportunity to become the first state in the nation to pass a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages — sodas, “sports” drinks, fruit drinks and other drinks with added sugar — and get a two-fer: funds to help our struggling budget and a huge boon to public health.
There have been measurable drops in the consumption of sugary drinks, a corresponding increase in water consumption as well as a pool of tax dollars available for further public health measures.
Research shows that over-consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is an overwhelming contributor to costly and preventable health challenges in our state: Type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease and dental cavities among them.
At the same time, Massachusetts faces a massive shortfall in funding needed for our drinking water infrastructure.
We have let our drinking water infrastructure deteriorate and made it more difficult for people to make the healthiest choice — drinking water.
The tiered structure of the tax will discourage beverages with the massive amounts of added sugar we see today.
Every school, park and municipal building in Massachusetts should have drinkable water and modern water filing stations where kids and adults can have access to clean drinking water.
A well-structured state tax on sugary beverages with funds devoted to the state’s water infrastructure and better access to exercise and recreation will create an environment where health thrives and health care costs are lower for everyone.
Why shouldn’t Massachusetts be the first state in the nation to pass a state-wide sugary drink tax?