A big ole' gulp of your favorite sugary drink like a classic Coca-Cola may one day cost you some extra pennies. A San Antonio Democratic lawmaker said he has the solution to fund public education and promote a healthier lifestyle.
State Representative Joe Farias has a twist to fund public education He's proposing a penny per ounce tax on sugary drinks like soda.
"There is a dire need to have money for our school districts," he said.
Farias said the tax could earn up to $2 billion, which he proposes would go to the Children's Health Promotion Account, Texas Education Agency, and State Health Services.
He also hopes to fight obesity in children.
"Also aid in the prevention or helping students that suffer from diabetes and prevent heart conditions that currently exist in a lot of our children," he said. "Especially the area I represent in southern Bexar County in San Antonio."
Under the bill there would be drinks tax-exempt: coffee, diet sodas, fruit drinks, and sports drinks.
Some Lubbock residents had different opinions about the idea.
"I think we are taxed enough," Kay Thomas said. "So I don't think I would be for it. "
"You drink what you want to drink. You eat what you want to eat, and that's it," Jason O' said.
"I don't think sugary drinks is a good way to go about it," Rexie Harrist said.
"I think that would be a good idea," Bobbie Erwin said. "Sugary drinks aren't good for any of us, so maybe it could do some good and education."
"People haven't quit smoking because of tax, or quit drinking alcohol and liquor because of tax," Farias said. "We aren't trying to prevent people from drinking sodas. If that is what you want to have fine."
This is the second time Farias has tried to tax Texas soda sales. His 2011 effort failed to make it out of committee. The need for funding makes him more optimistic this go-around.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 17-percent, or 12.5 million, of children and adolescents aged two-19 years are obese. Since 1980, obesity prevalence among children and adolescents has almost tripled.
Farias also cites his reasoning with a review conducted by Yale University's Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity. It claims for every 10-percent price increase in tobacco consumption decreases by 7.8-percent.