Tax on soda? Jacksonville organization pushes the proposed legislation

Should Jacksonville become the latest city to implement a soda tax?

Duval County is one of the least healthy counties in Florida — and that makes it a target for a new soda tax.

A new study shows that a soda tax would raise millions of dollars, but it’s a problem for people that pinch pennies.

According to the study by Harvard, Jacksonville would make $40 million if it taxed sugar-filled drinks at a rate of one penny per ounce, or 12 cents for each regular-sized can.

A case of regular Coca-Cola, for example, would cost an additional $2.88.

T.J. Martin of Jacksonville said he is a regular soda drinker and isn’t in favor of it.

“They already take enough out of my paycheck,” Martin said. “[I] probably wouldn't notice it, but taking [it's] money that I bust my hump for.”

Dr. Sunil Joshi, the president of the “904 Mission, 1 Million” program, is supporting an effort for the city as a whole to lose 1 million pounds over the next three and a half years.

According to recent numbers, Duval County ranks 48th out of Florida’s 67 counties in health issues, including obesity.

“Most of these sodas have caffeine,” Joshi said. “People get into a habit of drinking them. It becomes difficult to convince people to back off.”

On Jan. 1, Philadelphia became the latest city to implement a soda tax, but 30 other cities have rejected beverage taxes.