A New Tax That's Hard to Swallow

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The D.C. Council has voted to extend the District's 6 percent sales tax to include sport drinks like Gatorade, energy drinks like Red Bull and soft drinks, including diet soda.

    The tax was approved Wednesday as part of next year's city budget.

    Beverages like water, coffee, tea, milk and juice will be excluded from the sales tax. The tax is expected to generate $7.9 million next year.  The Council is planning to use the money on school programming promoting health.

    The beverage industry and some local retailers fought the tax, worrying it would force consumers to by their beverages outside the District.

    "If the money is going toward schools, I don't have a problem with it," one consumer said.

    Another said: "Why tax the people on something like that, why not just cut wasteful spending?"

    The Council has a final vote on the budget in June, then it's passed on to the mayor and then Congress for approval.


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