A Vermont house committee has reversed course. After rejecting a penny-an-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages last week, the measure has now been approved.
The Vermont House Health Care Committee had defeated the measure on a 5-5 tie vote on Friday after a committee member, a physician, abruptly left. Vermont Digger, an independent online newspaper, quoted committee chair Democrat Mike Fisher saying “The bill is dead”. But on Wednesday, the panel voted in two 7-4 tallies to advance the measure.
A prominent Vermont economist is warning that a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages will send more Vermonters out of state to shop.
Art Woolf of Northern Economic Consulting told the House Health Care Committee on Wednesday that retail activity on the Vermont and New Hampshire sides of the Connecticut River was even in 1969, when Vermont first instituted a sales tax.