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N.Y. lawmakers drop proposed soda tax

ALBANY, N.Y., July 2 (UPI) -- A New York State group fighting a proposed tax on soft drinks containing sugar appears to have won, with the levy dropped from the proposed budget bill.

Both sides ran expensive ad campaigns, The New York Times reports. But the commercials aired by New Yorkers Against Unfair Taxes appear to have had more resonance with voters and lawmakers than those from Alliance for a Healthier New York.

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Gov. David Paterson proposed taxing sugary drinks at 1 cent an ounce. The plan was described as a revenue raiser that would also turn New Yorkers away from drinks blamed for runaway obesity in the United States.

Much of the funding came from the soft drink industry. James Featherstonhaugh, a lobbyist for Pepsi bottlers summed up the winning argument.

"I think Senator Savino probably capsulized it fairly early on brilliantly," he told the Times. "She called it a dubious health policy wrapped in a really regressive tax and that resonated pretty well across Albany."

State Sen. Diane Savino, a Democrat, represents a New York City district that includes a Coca Cola distribution center.

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