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West Virgina’s soft drink excise tax created back in 1951, taxes one cent for every 16.9 ounces. It is now being re-examined to see how the state can decrease soda consumption and generate more funds for Medicaid coverage, and higher education.
Tara Holmes, summer research associate for the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy explained in a recent article, that a once-cent-per-ounce tax would need to be implemented to both generate revenue and potentially bring down soda consumption.
According to the local news, the state generated $15 million last year in current “soda tax” revenues, where funds go to medical, dental and nursing schools in the state. The state, however, is looking for more streams of revenue to fund Medicaid.
The State of Obesity research reveals that West Virginia has the second-highest adult obesity rate in the nation, and studies show that with obesity comes greater risks for chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease.