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The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that soft drink manufacturers “have intensified a fight against proposed taxes on their products, as a growing number of cities and states are weighing the measures to help fill depleted coffers ... The moves come as officials in at least 20 cities and states have proposed new taxes or the removal of tax exemptions on non-alcoholic beverages so far this year. The beverage industry has spent millions of dollars since 2009 on lobbying and advertising against proposed taxes, including a federal tax initially proposed as part of the health-care reform bill.”

Among the initiatives being taken by manufacturers:

• “A soft-drink bottler offered what it called a $10 million good-will-gesture donation for health and recreation programs in Philadelphia, as city officials there considered a proposal for an excise tax to help plug a budget hole and fight obesity.”

• “Industry officials are also considering trying to organize a referendum in Washington state to repeal a three-year excise tax on carbonated beverages of two cents on every 12 ounces.”

The Journal notes that when it comes to soda taxes, there actually has been more smoke than fire - few taxes have actually been implemented, with only the state of Washington approving such a tax.
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