Soda tax tough to swallow for some Bronx residents

THE BRONX - As part of a broad plan to close the state's fiscal deficit, Gov. David Paterson will announce a new tax on non-diet sodas.

Paterson's 2009-10 budget proposal to the Legislature is scheduled for Tuesday. That's a month early, part of Paterson's effort to get a strong start to cutting spending and increasing revenues to deal with deficits he projects will total $47 billion over three years.

After opposing higher taxes for months, Paterson will also seek to increase several taxes in relation to gasoline and clothing. The governor is also proposing income tax changes that could lead to New Yorkers paying more to fix the state's fiscal crisis.

In a Citizens' Committee for Children of New York poll, 72 percent of respondents in the Bronx say they would support a soda tax if it was used to address childhood obesity and also if it reduced the need to cut public services.

Others who disagree say the government should not regulate the private soda industry.

AP wire services were used in this report.

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