Thursday, March 25, 2010

New York Budget Bills Include Additional Tobacco Tax Hikes and Eliminating Soft Drinks Exemption

Capitol Confidential points out that one of the Assembly's budget bills, A9710-B (the second revision), includes quite a few new and additional tax hikes and adjustments.

Specifically, it includes yet another tobacco tax hike, but it also references a tax on soft drinks and sugary beverages.

The tobacco taxes would rise from 68.75 cents to 98.75 cents for each five cigarettes; an increase from $2.75 to $3.95 for a package of 20 cigarettes.

Now, this particular tax on soft drinks isn't the one that adds a new tax with the intent to reduce consumption of carbonated and sugared beverages, but eliminates an exemption on certain sales of soft drinks:
(1) Food, food products, beverages, dietary foods and health supple-
18 ments, sold for human consumption but not including (i) candy and
19 confectionery, (ii) fruit drinks which contain less than seventy percent
20 of natural fruit juice, (iii) soft drinks, sodas and beverages such as
21 are ordinarily dispensed at soda fountains or in connection therewith
22 (other than coffee, tea and cocoa) and (iv) beer, wine or other alcohol-
23 ic beverages, all of which shall be subject to the retail sales and
24 compensating use taxes, whether or not the item is sold in liquid form.
25 [The food and drink excluded from the exemption provided by this para-
26 graph under subparagraphs (i), (ii) and (iii) of this paragraph shall be
27 exempt under this paragraph when sold for seventy-five cents or less
28 through any vending machine activated by the use of coin, currency,
29 credit card or debit card. With the exception of the provision in this
30 paragraph providing for an exemption for certain food or drink sold for
31 seventy-five cents or less through vending machines, nothing]
32 herein shall be construed as exempting food or drink from the tax
33 imposed under subdivision (d) of section eleven hundred five.
The text within the brackets, which I've bolded is the exemption that is being eliminated.

The bill, along with the rest of the budget bills still have to work its way through the Assembly before it can be approved.

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