Mich. Leg­is­la­ture votes to ban lo­cal food, bev­er­age taxes

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - OBITUARIES - By David Eggert The As­so­ci­ated Press

LANS­ING, MICH. » Lo­cal taxes on food and bev­er­ages would be pre­emp­tively banned in Michi­gan un­der leg­is­la­tion that is likely to be signed into law by Gov. Rick Sny­der.

The Re­pub­li­can-led Leg­is­la­ture fin­ished ap­prov­ing the bill Thurs­day, just weeks af­ter its in­tro­duc­tion. While no Michi­gan mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties are con­sid­er­ing an ex­cise tax on sug­ary and ar­ti­fi­cially sweet­ened bev­er­ages, busi­ness groups and oth­ers lob­by­ing for the mea­sure pointed to soda taxes in Philadel­phia and the Chicago area as rea­son enough to move quickly.

The penny-per-ounce tax on cola and sweet­ened drinks in Cook County, Illi­nois, was re­pealed Wed­nes­day af­ter a month­s­long con­flict that in­cluded a court bat­tle and mil­lions of dol­lars’ worth of tele­vi­sion ads on both sides. The tax will end Dec. 1.

The spon­sor of the Michi­gan mea­sure, Re­pub­li­can Rep. Rob VerHeulen of Walker, said soda taxes “cause dis­rup­tion and the loss of jobs” and are re­gres­sive, dis­pro­por­tion­ately af­fect­ing lower-and mid­dle-in­come con­sumers. He said while he does not think lo­cal gov­ern­ments can levy their own food and bev­er­age taxes un­der cur­rent law, it is best to “make the law very clear.”

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