As families across America are struggling to make ends meet during a recession, we were astonished (or couldn’t believe) to hear that New York Governor Paterson's 2010-11 budget proposal contained a beverage tax hike on hard-working families. This tax is similar to the one introduced - and abandoned by the Governor himself - last year.

This year’s proposal would make the tax on a 12 pack of soft drinks more than 9 times higher than the current state tax on a 12 pack of alcoholic beverages, like beer. High beverage taxes such as these put good-paying, New York jobs at risk. And real world experience indicates that beverage taxes don’t make people healthier. In fact, West Virginia and Arkansas are the only two states with excise taxes on soda, yet they are among the 10 most obese states in the nation.

The tax is opposed by the New Yorkers Against Unfair Taxes coalition, which is made up of businesses, business groups and thousands of New York residents across the state.
The coalition recognizes the need to balance New York’s budget. And while this is not to be taken lightly, there is a better way to balance the budget than to target one portion of the items in our grocery cart for additional taxation.

As New Yorkers Against Unfair Taxes Chairman Nelson Eusebio put it, "New Yorkers are struggling to make ends meet in this economy and we shouldn't bear the burden of fixing the Governor’s budget problems. Another tax will be detrimental to hardworking New York businesses and residents."