Bill would tax soda for health programs

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) _ The beverage industry and health activists went
head-to-head Friday debating whether to tax soda to support health programs.

Lincoln Senator Bill Avery pitched his proposal and asked the
Legislature's Revenue Committee to include his bill in a tax commission study.

Avery says Nebraska should tax soda even though the state doesn't tax groceries. He says the bill is an effort to reduce childhood obesity by providing a portion of the more than $11 million generated by the tax for health programs annually.

Schools and health programs supported the bill, saying the extra funding could greatly help health initiatives that are already working. The Nebraska Beverage Association and Nebraska Grocery Association opposed the bill.

Senators also discussed creating a tax commission allowing lawmakers to research state tax laws and recommend updates.

© 2014 Rural Radio Network. All rights reserved. Republishing, rebroadcasting, rewriting, redistributing prohibited. Copyright Information