You thought the little tax increases on consumer goods in D.C. were over? Well, you’re probably right. But after getting burned this spring with the institution of a 6 percent sales tax on sugar-sweetened drinks, the American Beverage Association has started campaigning afresh, this time against a new tax they think could go as high as a penny per ounce.
Their most recent appearance: Last night’s meeting of the Beacon Brightwood Business Association, where ABA consultant Vickey Wilcher prophesized that Councilmember Mary Cheh and friends would start nickel-and-diming corner stores again. “We have reason to believe that the Council will come once again to you to say we need a further tax, over and above the six percent,” she said, warning of a slippery slope. “Today, sugar sweetened beverages. Tomorrow, what? Eggs? Bread? Milk?”
Cheh’s chief of staff, David Zvenyach, denies that anything is in the works. “Although the CM believes it’s a better policy option, there are no active plans to implement a penny-per-ounce excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages,” he writes.
Of course, anything is possible in such dire budgetary times as these.