Poll Shows Support for Tax If Funds Directed to Health Care Programs
By Pat Bradley
Montpelier, VT – Vermonters were asked if they supported a proposed one-cent per ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages. 27-point-6 percent strongly oppose the idea, while 27-point-2 percent strongly favor it. But when asked if revenues from the tax went to specific health care programs, support jumps dramatically - for example more than 60 percent supported it for low and middle income children's health care programs and 56 percent would support the tax if it helps fund adult health care programs. Vermont Campaign For Health Care Security Education Fund Executive Director Peter Sterling.......
Opponents of the tax question the poll and it's methodology. Vermont Grocers' Association President Jim Harrison doubts that even if the Legislature dedicated a sugar sweetened tax to health care programs that the revenues would actually be used for such programs.........
Andrew McLean is a Lobbyist with MacLean, Meehan & Rice representing the Beverage Association of Vermont. MacLean says there is considerable opposition to an excise tax targeting one type of product....
The poll of 508 Vermonters on a sugar sweetened beverage tax was conducted in February by the Center for Rural Studies at the University of Vermont. It has a 4 percent margin of error.