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Mayor proposes soda tax to fight obesity

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New Haven Mayor Toni Harp wants the state to impose a tax on soda to battle obesity. Harp says a 2 percent tax on high-calorie, sugary drinks would reduce sales of the beverages and generate about $144 million in revenue. Connecticut does not authorize cities and towns to levy taxes. A soda tax would have to be statewide, but it has not been mentioned since the legislative session began on Thursday. Soda, candy, and alcoholic beverages are subject to a state sales tax. Chris Gindlesperger, a spokesman for the American Beverage Association, says consumers do not support soda taxes or regulations restricting grocery purchases. He says education, rather than laws and regulations, can help fight obesity. Gindlesperger said companies put calorie counts on labels and offer low- and no-calorie choices.

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