(KTVI)– Talk of a sugary drink tax in Illinois has some metro-east retailers crying foul. A bill has been introduced in the Illinois Senate that would add one cent for every ounce of bottled and canned sugary drinks. The idea is to steer consumer to healthier choices, thereby reducing health care costs.
“It actually makes me mad,” said Rob Forsyth. He is the president of the company that owns area Moto Marts. He said that one cent tax adds up to $2.88 per case. He also says studies show sugary drink taxes do not work.
Forsyth showed us aisles of healthy choices each of his locations offer. There is fresh fruit, chicken, turkey, health bars and other options. He feels consumers should be free to make their own choices and feels the state is simply desperate to generate revenue.
“Obesity is a problem, but this isn`t the way to get at the problem,” said Forsyth.
The Illinois Manufactures Association agrees. It has concerns lost sales could hurt businesses related to manufacturing the product.
Forsyth and the IMA also agree Metro East retailers already have a competitive disadvantage with Missouri. Missouri has lower gas and cigarette taxes.
“This would be another big reason for people to take that trip over to Missouri and deliver their hard earned dollars to support jobs and income in Missouri instead of their home state,” said Forsyth. “It just doesn`t make any sense.”