W.Va. governor wants to put tax on sugary sodas


It would generate an estimated $89-120 million per year

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice is hoping to help a $500 million shortfall in the state’s budget.

He's proposing "a better health initiative," putting a tax on sugary sodas.

Some favor the tax that would add a penny-per-ounce on sugary soda drinks.

Others say they don't like it, and they may even head to Ohio to buy their favorite beverage.

“I know they got a deficit, but I don't think they should add tax to your soda,” said Steve Fitzek, of Wheeling.

The average price for a can would go up about 12 cents, for a small bottle about 20 cents, and more for a 12-pack or 2-liter.

“I would probably cut back,” Moundsville’s Lori Cook said. “Depending on how high it got. I drink a lot of soda as it is."

The tax is aimed to do just that – make the Mountain State healthier, forcing people to make better choices -- but it would also generate an estimated $89-120 million per year. It’s also said to save money on health care.

The American Heart and Stroke Association had this to say about the proposed tax: “So you really have that healthcare costs savings we could look forward to down the road, get our population healthier, and really reduce the use of things that contribute to heart disease and diabetes.”

The initiative would also increase the state's cigarette tax by 50 cents per pack to about $1.70 per pack.

It also has bumps in wholesale liquor prices and beer taxes.

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