R.I. Beverage Companies Blast Soda Tax Proposal

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A legislative proposal to tax sugary beverages in Rhode Island is falling flat with the state's beverage industry.

Representatives from several beverage companies came to the Statehouse Tuesday to urge lawmakers to reject the proposal, which they say unfairly singles out their industry.

The legislation would add a tax of one penny per ounce to the cost of regular sodas or other drinks that are sweetened with sugar. The tax would raise an estimated $45 million a year for public health efforts to fight obesity.

The tax would not apply to diet sodas or other non-sugared drinks.

The bill is supported by public health advocates who say sugary drinks are a leading contributor to obesity.

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