Local news

Budget-patching soda tax starts today

That six-pack of diet soda will cost an extra 12 cents starting today. It’s possible you won’t pay it, but someone will.

The new tax, part of a budget-balancing package of tax increases approved earlier this year by state lawmakers, amounts to 2 cents per 12-ounce bottle or can. But it is being assessed at the bottler or distributor level and will be built into the wholesale cost stores pay on future shipments. Stores will be responsible for paying the tax to the state on any soda they have on hand today.

They might mark up their prices, but it won’t be automatically added on at the checkout counter like a sales tax, Mike Gowrylow of the state Department of Revenue said. “If pricing competition keeps them from including it, they can absorb it,” he said.

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