A Proposed Beverage Tax Will Hurt Rhode Island’s Working Families, Small Businesses And Their Employees The Most

Some Rhode Island Legislators recently proposed House Bill 7553 – a 1.5 cent per ounce tax on many everyday beverages. This beverage tax will burden working families and employees and put pressure on small businesses.

Meet the Coalition

Tanya Veiga, Manager, Galito Restaurant, Pawtucket RI

“There are better ways to address food insecurity than a tax that will hurt working families and cost jobs. We just can’t afford that.”

About Us

We’re a coalition of individuals and small, local businesses, and community organizations fighting to keep many everyday drinks affordable for working families and help small businesses stay afloat.

The Impact

See how a beverage tax would impact Rhode Island families, small businesses, and employees

Voices of the Coalition

Meet the RI residents, advocates, and small businesses that make up our coalition

The Impact of a Beverage Tax

How would the proposed beverage tax impact Rhode Island?
Beverage taxes hurt working families, small businesses and employees the most.

  • This is not just a tax on soda. Hard-working Rhode Islanders will struggle to afford common grocery items such as sugar-sweetened beverages including flavored coffee drinks, sports drinks, teas, sodas, energy drinks, lemonades, kombuchas, flavored waters, certain fruit drinks – even frozen lemonade and coffee syrup.
  • Costs are rising for working families in Rhode Island. Inflation, supply chain issues, and the price of gas are making everyday items more expensive. Working families can’t afford more price increases.
  • Local businesses have worked hard to recover from the challenges of the pandemic. A large tax on beverages is another burden placed on businesses and would lead to job losses and higher prices.

If passed, many residents will drive across the state border to do their shopping in tax-free Connecticut and Massachusetts, hurting local businesses and depriving the state of revenue.

The state has a significant budget surplus after receiving historic levels of federal funding. The last place the legislature should look for revenue to fund programs is a tax that will hurt working families and endanger small businesses.

BOTTOM LINE: Rhode Island families, small businesses and employees cannot afford a costly new tax.

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