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Soda tax getting another look in Hawaii

March 29, 2011

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HONOLULU—The idea of taxing soft drinks may be making a comeback in Hawaii.

The state Senate Health Committee heard from experts and physicians Monday on the health effects of sweetened beverages, especially on children.

The soda tax idea isn't pending in any legislation currently being considered after lawmakers tabled the idea early this year.

But it could be reinserted into a bill later in the process as elected leaders search for money needed to help balance the budget, which has a deficit projected at nearly $1 billion over the next two years.

Democratic Gov. Neil Abercrombie had suggested creating a soda tax -- 25 cents for each container larger than 12 ounces, and 10 cents on smaller containers -- that was projected to raise about $40 million a year.