Utah Considers Caffeine Tax

Legislators consider tithing both soda and coffee
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 13, 2009 12:17 PM CDT
Viennese coffee is prepared at the Austrian-style Cafe Sabarsky in New York, Wednesday, March 4, 2009.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
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(Newser) – After seeing multiple proposals to raise the tax on cigarettes fail, one Utah legislator has set his sights on another addictive substance: caffeine. Rep. Craig Frank has initiated a yearlong study on the impact of such a tax, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. If it can fly anywhere, Utah might be the place. The Mormon church already frowns on "hot drinks."

Frank had initially intended to cover only caffeinated sodas but has since come to consider all forms of the substance. He sees it as a logical extension of the effort to tax smokers. "We're going after people who have problems with addiction for a revenue stream, only caffeine would be one that is more broad-based," he said.