Soda buyers may soon be taxed extra - - Jackson, MS

Soda buyers may soon be taxed extra

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By Krystal Allan

One state representative thinks he found a sweet solution to the budget shortfall. Representative John Mayo, of Clarksdale is proposing a tax on soda and other sugary drinks.

Reaching for that 21 ounce soda could cost you close to 50 cents more under a proposed Soda Bill Tax. As the bill is written now, only wholesalers of sodas and sugary drinks like tea or certain energy drinks would be taxed. But, the bill's creator says he's aware that most or all of the cost could be handed down to consumers.

So should those who want a sugary fix pay more?

"Well...yes and no...I don't think they should tax. It is unhealthy, diabetes, health problems it starts from here," said  Shantanya Clarke a Mississippi resident.

Representative John Mayo of Clarksdale, the man behind the bill, says the goal is to encourage Mississippians to make smarter, healthier choices and to use money generated from the tax to fund healthy choice programs thereby encouraging a preventative approach to health issues in the state.

Mayo says one option would be to use money from the tax to pay for special equipment and programs already at a couple of schools in south Mississippi.

If you're take the money and put toward that I understand it.

Mayo says " I hope it passes this year but it is focusing attention on what is healthy choices and what is not it's a start." he goes on to say "If you choose to be fat by making unhealthy choices why should those of us who choose to be healthy pay for your obesity."

The representative's intentions may be one thing, but some say how the public might perceive them might be another. There's a positive and negative to everything. And so the debate over what to drink and whether you should have to pay more begins.

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