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WASHINGTON D.C. -- 7-Eleven Inc.,Kwik Trip Inc. and NACS—the Association for Convenience and Petroleum Marketing, joined Americans Against Food Taxes, a new coalition of individuals and businesses created to fight against new taxes on beverages and food, such as a tax on juice drinks and soda being considered by some in Congress.
"A tax on juice drinks and soda would further squeeze hard-working families already struggling to pay their bills and keep their health coverage. With the economic downturn, there could not be a worse time to ask them to pay more for the simple pleasures they enjoy," said Susan Neely, president and CEO of the American Beverage Association, part of the coalition.
"We all want to improve health care, but taxes don't make anyone healthy. Education, exercise and balanced diets do that."
Americans Against Food Taxes has two primary aims: to prevent the enactment of "regressive and discriminatory food taxes that will have no meaningful impact on improving health care, but will have a negative impact on American families struggling in this economy" and to promote a healthy economy and healthy lifestyles by educating Americans about solutions that rely upon science, economic realities and common sense.
"Our customers and our businesses are already struggling to survive in this recession," said Nelson A. Eusebio, executive director of the National Supermarket Association and regional co-chair of Americans Against Food Taxes. "We simply cannot afford more government regulation in the form of new taxes on foods and beverages sold by supermarkets and enjoyed by everyday Americans."
Americans Against Food Taxes' boasts more than 110 national and state organizations as members, as well as more than 20,000 individuals.
"The last thing we should do is tax food in the midst of the deepest economic recession in over a generation. Food taxes are bad public policy because they disproportionately impact America's working families," said Pamela G. Bailey, president and CEO, Grocery Manufacturers Association.
Americans Against Food Taxes' membership also includes: the Can Manufacturers Institute, the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, the Corn Refiners Association, the Food Marketing Institute, the International Dairy Foods Association, the National Grocers Association, the National Restaurant Association, the Snack Food Association and the National Taxpayers.
"On behalf of the nation's nearly 1 million restaurants employing 13 million people, the National Restaurant Association is strongly opposed to a beverage tax that would only further reduce already slim profit-margins for the restaurant industry," said Beth Johnson, NRA's executive vice president of public affairs. "During these challenging economic times, Congress should be finding ways to alleviate tax burdens on Americans, rather than imposing new ones, such as the beverage tax."
More than 20,000 individuals have already joined the coalition and signed a petition at the Americans Against Food Taxes Web site, www.nobeverageandfoodtaxes.com, opposing new taxes on juice drinks and soda.
"The last thing American families need right now are higher grocery prices, and consumers should be concerned that when Congress targets one food product for a tax, other items in the grocery cart are at risk of being taxed to pay for the next thing. Families need some relief in their grocery bills right now, not a greater burden with higher taxes," said Barbara McConnell, president of the Food Industry Association Executives.
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