Texas Soda Tax Sits Flat for East Texas

News / Texas Soda Tax Sits Flat for East Texas

By Matt Schaefer
Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Share On:

By Jennifer Heathcock, CBS 19 News
Posted Friday, February 8, 2013; 10:45 pm


See Matt and Other East Texans React to Proposed Tax


TYLER (KYTX) – You’ve probably heard the debate about the tax increase on sugary drinks in New York.

Now, a Texas law maker wants you to pay more.

A representative in San Antonio proposed a one-cent-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks in an effort to reduce obesity and other health problems.

That means this can of coke, wouldn’t just be 99 cents at the gas station, it would cost you 12 extra cents to take a sip.

“Two two liters a day. Easy,” says John Devaul, an avid soda drinker. For big time dr. Pepper drinker Devaul, the cost of his bottle of soda going up is not refreshing.

“Start adding a dollar to that? You’re talking $3.50 a bottle. Talk about two a day, that’s $7 a day,” says Devaul.

A San Antonio lawmaker has proposed a sugary-drink tax that would raise the cost a penny an ounce. If this were to pass, it would depend how much more you want to spend. A 24 ounce cup would cost 24 more cents to fill up. The representative says the money would go to kids education in the state.

“I think it’s pointless. We get taxed for everything anyway. So I guess it wouldn’t make a difference. We’d still buy the coke,” says Brittany Kallon, who only reaches for a Coke occasionally.

Kallon says it wouldn’t make a difference to her, for an occasional treat.

“I think we should try to tax on politicians raising taxes,” says District 6 Representative Matt Schaefer.

Schaefer says it’s not the state’s place.

“We have all sorts of public awareness that’s already taking place about this issue. Raising taxes and starting a new program is not the answer,” says Schaefer.

The bill calls for the measure to promote a healthier lifestyle.

“We pay a lot of money for things we don’t need anyway, so what’s a coke?” says Kallon.

“I don’t think would go down a whole lot because people like their sodas. I love my sodas,” says Devaul.

Now the tax could add about two billion dollars to the states public education fund. And that’s just one of the things the law maker wants to fund with the money from your break-time drink.

The people we spoke to today said it wouldn’t change a thing about their habits. They’ll have their Coke and a smile no matter the price.

The same representative proposed a very similar bill in 2011. That one fizzled out before making any headway.

Prev:  Change in Graduation Requirements Could be Coming to Texas
Next: Local Leaders Weigh in on Ruling