Proposed soda tax could negatively impact local businesses

EAST HAVEN, Conn (WTNH) — An East Haven beverage company anticipates negative impacts on business in response to Mayor Toni Harp’s proposed soda tax.

Foxon Park Beverages has been in business in East Haven since 1922. You can find their sodas in stores and restaurants all over Connecticut.

“We have 14 employees. We’ve grown significantly over the past 5 years,” said Jay Brancati of Foxon Park Beverages.

New Haven Mayor Toni Harp is proposing a statewide two percent tax on exactly what Jay Brancati sells.

He says that the proposed soda tax would not be good for business.

“We’re just a small company trying to survive and taxing us to death isn’t going to help us hire more employees and create more jobs, it’s just going to hinder us from doing that,” he said.

Foxon Park prides itself on using all natural ingredients. No corn syrup, just real sugar. Unfortunately, it is the sugar that Mayor Harp says is bad in sodas.

“When you think about the super-sizing of some of these sugary drinks, it’s really more sugar than the body can accommodate. We did the same thing for cigarettes, I think we’re all better off because of it,” said Mayor Harp.

“I just don’t buy it. There’s other things. Why stop at soda? Let’s tax candy bars. Let’s tax ice cream,” said Jay.

Mayor Harp gave her reasoning behind targeting sugary drinks.

“I think think the thing of it is, it doesn’t mean people won’t buy their product. It just means that they’ll think about it twice and maybe they won’t drink as much of it as they do now,” she said.

Jay Brancati believes that people can think for themselves.

“They have the choice to do that whether it’s taxed or whether it’s not taxed,” he said.

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