CHICAGO, Feb. 28, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A majority of Illinois voters support a penny-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks to help address the state's budget deficit, according to a poll released today by the American Heart Association (AHA). The results show a resounding 56 percent of voters in support of the sugary drink tax, with 41 percent opposing it.
The poll also showed that voters strongly prefer a sugary drink tax to other deficit-cutting options. When presented with a sugary drink tax as a choice, they would rather:
Raise the sugary drink tax (73%) than raise the state income tax (19%)
Raise the sugary drink tax (81%) than cut millions of dollars in Medicaid funding to seniors (12%)
Raise the sugary drink tax (72%) than expand sales tax to include taxes on services (19%)
A sugary drink tax also has support (60%) in the city of Chicago, which will be subject to a penny-per-ounce Cook County sweetened beverage tax starting on July 1, 2017.
The AHA supports a penny-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks proposed as part of the 2017 Illinois state budget. The proposed tax would apply to sugary drinks like soda, sports drinks, sweetened tea or lemonade, and any other beverages with added sugar. It would not apply to water, milk, 100 percent fruit juice or artificially-sweetened drinks like diet soda. If passed, this tax would generate an estimated $560 million each year for the state.
The tax will help to curb the consumption of sugary drinks—the number one source of added sugar in the American diet—and improve the health of residents in vulnerable communities. Residents in Illinois' lower income and minority communities are experiencing catastrophic rates of chronic diseases such as heart disease, strokes, diabetes and cancer – illnesses often linked to the consumption of too much sugar.
The poll of 800 registered Illinois voters was conducted by Anzalone Liszt Grove Research on February 15-20, 2017. The poll's margin of error is +/-3.5 percentage points.
For more information on how taxes on sugary drinks can help improve the health and well-being of our communities, visit heart.org/OneSmallChange.
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SOURCE American Heart Association