Feb 4, 2010 9:49 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

State tax increases advance in legislature

A Senate committee has backed a proposal to start charging sales tax on soft drinks and candy.

The tax supported by the Senate Finance Committee Wednesday is one of 13 tax credits and sales tax exemptions that Democrats want to roll back to balance the state's budget.

Gov. Bill Ritter has proposed making the tax permanent but Democratic Sen. Paula Sandoval voted with Republicans to repeal it after three years.

The full Senate must now vote on that proposal. The House voted to make the tax permanent.

Coca-Cola and Pepsi bottlers urged lawmakers to reject the tax. Chris Harr of the Pepsi Bottling Group estimated it could lead to the loss of 370 to 800 jobs, mostly at stores and vending machine companies.


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