Senators Leibell & Larkin Oppose Soda Tax

William J. Larkin, Jr.

February 09, 2010

Governor’s Tax Proposal Could Cost Thousands of Jobs In Hudson Valley

Senator Vincent Leibell (R-C-I, Patterson) and Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) said today they will fight the soda tax proposed by Governor David Paterson because it would cost consumers almost half a billion dollars and could cause the loss of thousands of jobs in the Hudson Valley.

"Pepsi operates a major bottling facility in Somers, Westchester County, that employs many local people," Senator Leibell said. "Imposing this tax could be the last straw that pushes PepsiCo to leave and cause the loss of those jobs. That would be a major blow to the local economy. We need to be cutting spending and reducing taxes to make sure businesses stay in New York, not raising more taxes to drive them away."

"The half-billion dollar soda tax proposed by the Governor could have a disastrous impact on the state’s economy, potentially costing thousands of jobs, especially in the Hudson Valley," Senator Larkin said. "Beyond the impact on businesses, it would drive up grocery bills for families and there are serious questions as to whether it would reduce consumption at all. The most likely impact of this tax would be a loss of businesses and jobs that we simply cannot afford."

"The Democrats cannot continue to impose new and higher taxes and ignore the serious consequences to our economy," Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos said. "Senators Leibell and Larkin are right to oppose the soda tax, along with other proposed tax increases, because they realize the devastating impact it would have on their districts and their region."

Even former President Bill Clinton, who made reducing childhood obesity a focus since leaving the White House, opposes the soda tax. He told ABC News, "I think the better thing to do is to give incentives right across the board for prevention and wellness."

In addition, the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation and the Hudson Valley Regional Coalition are in strong opposition to the soda tax because of the damage it could do to the economy on both sides of the Hudson. Hudson Valley EDC President Mike Oates met with Senator Larkin and Senator Skelos to discuss the negative impact of the soda tax plan.

Senators Larkin and Leibell were instrumental in stopping a similar soda tax proposal by Governor Paterson last year.

"Our budget deficit will not be solved by raising taxes," Senator Larkin said. "We need to enact a spending cap to reduce state spending so we can reduce taxes on families and businesses and strengthen our economy."