District of Columbia's proposed soda tax is dead; NAMA hails withdrawal as victory for small businesses

June 21, 2021

The bill that proposed a new soda tax to D.C. has been withdrawn. District of Columbia councilmember Brianne Nadeau (D-Ward 1) withdrew the legislation introduced earlier this year that would replace the city’s current sales tax on sugary drinks with an excise tax of 1.5¢ per fluid ounce on the distribution of the drinks.

The tax was part of Nadeau’s Nutrition Equity Amendment Act of 2021, introduced in March.

Nadeau tweeted on June 11: “I have decided to withdraw the Nutrition Equity Act. While I am so proud of the diverse coalition of people leading this effort in community, I recognize that there is not enough support to move the legislation forward.”

According to the a story in the dcist, the same bill failed to move forward when it was introduced in 2019, and another soda tax effort was derailed in 2010.


“We’re pleased that the council recognizes the undue burden the soda tax would have placed on already-struggling small businesses,” said Mike Goscinski, the National Automatic Merchandising Association’s senior director of external affairs.

“NAMA has been actively engaged in opposition to the tax since the concept was introduced as different legislation in 2019 through the Alliance for an Affordable DC Coalition and in the months leading to the withdrawal,’ Goscinski added.

“Most recently, NAMA director of federal and state affairs Wes Fisher provided verbal testimony urging the council to reconsider the looming soda tax that would undermine post-pandemic relief efforts for so many working families. Fisher called attention to the proactive, voluntary efforts the convenience services industry has taken to promote healthy options and accommodate consumer choice and highlighted the industry’s public health commitment with the Partnership for a Healthier America and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation,” he continued.

NAMA praised the council’s acknowledgment of those who would have been unfairly impacted by the regressive tax and the withdrawal the bill.


[Photo: Elaine-Gonzag/Pixabay]
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