MS lawmaker wants to tax sugary drinks - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

MS lawmaker wants to tax sugary drinks

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

A bill in the state senate is taking aim at overly sweetened beverages sold in Mississippi. That would mean common drinks like sodas and the Southern favorite sweet tea would be hit with a tax.

"People have got to wake up and get on the sugar replacements," said Sen. Deborah Dawkins, a democrat from Pass Christian.

It's being pushed by Senator Dawkins who says the purpose is to return some of the profit to the state, which is too often left footing the bill for medical expenses because of health issues related to high calories and sugar. With nearly 25 percent of the state's population as diabetic, Dawkins says the state can't afford it.

"Our costs have to be passed on to someone else if we're not able to bare them and we won't be," Dawkins said.

Dawkins says she's open to compromise on just how much the tax should be, but in her bill, she suggests a two cents per ounce hike.

"Even if we had a one percent. That would help tremendously as a disincentive," Dawkins said.

Justin Wilson with the D.C. based nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom opposes the effort, calling it a misguided attempt to achieve healthier living.

"I think what this amounts to is social engineering, plain and simple," Wilson said. "It's going to force people to move to other caloric beverages like milk or beer."

Wilson says a beverage tax shouldn't be used to plug budget holes and doubts money raised from it would actually be used for health related initiatives.

"The tax code is supposed to be about raising revenue, not changing our daily lives," Wilson said.

Dawkins isn't surprised by the opposition and says a similar measure in New York was just as controversial

"Sometimes we have to do something to get the ball rolling. This is my way of getting the ball rolling," Dawkins said.

Since the bill is a tax proposal, it faces a deadline to be heard by the end of the month.

Copyright 2013 MSNewsNow. All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsLOCALMore>>

  • Two arrests, items recovered in Jones Co. grand larceny case

    Two arrests, items recovered in Jones Co. grand larceny case

    Monday, April 23 2018 5:16 PM EDT2018-04-23 21:16:12 GMT
    Zachary J. Holland, 21, of Ellisville was arrested and charged with two counts of grand larceny. (Photo source: Jones County Jail)Zachary J. Holland, 21, of Ellisville was arrested and charged with two counts of grand larceny. (Photo source: Jones County Jail)
    Zachary J. Holland, 21, of Ellisville was arrested and charged with two counts of grand larceny. (Photo source: Jones County Jail)Zachary J. Holland, 21, of Ellisville was arrested and charged with two counts of grand larceny. (Photo source: Jones County Jail)
    Two Ellisville men were arrested after a trailer containing lawn equipment they are accused of stealing was impounded by the Pascagoula Police Department.  Jones County Sheriff's Deputies responded to a larceny complaint on April 19, on Township Road in Jones County after a victim said his lawn equipment was stolen, according to a Jones County Sheriff's Dept. press release. Pascagoula police impounded a trailer with the lawn equipment and other equipment in Jacks...More >>
    Two Ellisville men were arrested after a trailer containing lawn equipment they are accused of stealing was impounded by the Pascagoula Police Department.  Jones County Sheriff's Deputies responded to a larceny complaint on April 19, on Township Road in Jones County after a victim said his lawn equipment was stolen, according to a Jones County Sheriff's Dept. press release. Pascagoula police impounded a trailer with the lawn equipment and other equipment in Jacks...More >>
  • LIST: Hattiesburg to close roads for Jimmy Buffett concert

    LIST: Hattiesburg to close roads for Jimmy Buffett concert

    Monday, April 23 2018 4:58 PM EDT2018-04-23 20:58:05 GMT
    Expected road closures in downtown Hattiesburg on Thursday, April 6, for the Jimmy Buffet concert at the Saenger Theater. (Photo source: City of Hattiesburg)Expected road closures in downtown Hattiesburg on Thursday, April 6, for the Jimmy Buffet concert at the Saenger Theater. (Photo source: City of Hattiesburg)

    Several roads will close in downtown Hattiesburg on Thursday, April 6, for the Jimmy Buffet concert at the Saenger Theater.

    More >>

    Several roads will close in downtown Hattiesburg on Thursday, April 6, for the Jimmy Buffet concert at the Saenger Theater.

    More >>
  • Hattiesburg man accused of choking wife, dropping her off at the hospital

    Hattiesburg man accused of choking wife, dropping her off at the hospital

    Monday, April 23 2018 4:34 PM EDT2018-04-23 20:34:00 GMT
    Anton Bolden.  Source: Forrest County Jail.Anton Bolden. Source: Forrest County Jail.
    Anton Bolden.  Source: Forrest County Jail.Anton Bolden. Source: Forrest County Jail.

    A Hattiesburg man is accused of choking his wife and then leaving her at a local hospital. Hattiesburg Police responded to a local hospital in reference to the domestic assault Monday morning.  According to HPD Spokesman Ryan Moore, the victim stated her husband choked her, and then drove her to the hospital and left around 5:30 a.m. She was treated for non-life-threatening injuries and later discharged, Moore said. When officers located the victim's husband, Anton Bolden...

    More >>

    A Hattiesburg man is accused of choking his wife and then leaving her at a local hospital. Hattiesburg Police responded to a local hospital in reference to the domestic assault Monday morning.  According to HPD Spokesman Ryan Moore, the victim stated her husband choked her, and then drove her to the hospital and left around 5:30 a.m. She was treated for non-life-threatening injuries and later discharged, Moore said. When officers located the victim's husband, Anton Bolden...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly