- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 21, 2015

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - Vermont grocers and some other small business owners are voicing opposition to a proposed tax on sugary beverages.

Supporters say the drinks are big contributors to obesity. They want a 2-cents-per-ounce excise tax on soda and other sugary drinks, with the money going for health promotion and food programs for low-income Vermonters.

But Jim Harrison, president of the Vermont Retail & Grocers Association, says the tax would create a competitive disadvantage for stores, especially in Vermont’s border communities.

The tax also has drawn opposition from two senior Democrats in the Vermont Senate: President Pro Tem John Campbell and Sen. Richard Sears, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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