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Vt. House panel passes beverage tax - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vt. House panel passes beverage tax

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MONTPELIER, Vt. -

The soda tax is back.

Last week, Vermont lawmakers called the proposed penny-an-ounce tax dead after a stalled vote in the health committee. But Wednesday, the committee took the sugar-added beverage tax out of a larger health bill and voted on the two issues separately.

Rep. George Till, D-Jericho, is a soda tax advocate. He says he walked away from the debate last week in frustration. Now he's encouraged.

"It has a long road ahead of it, but nonetheless, it's still a historic vote, I mean it's a historic vote for a penny-an-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages and I think it's important," Till said.

The measure will need to pass through two more committees before it gets to the House floor. Till says the tax would be a big step in the fight against ballooning obesity rates. But opponents say it would hurt stores along the Vermont-New Hampshire border and hurt low-income families.

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