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    New Yorkers Fight Tax Hikes on Drinks

    A new coalition issues a call for others to reject the tax on juice drinks and sodas, sign their petition and possibly save over 6,000 state jobs.

    A coalition of concerned New Yorkers has formed "New Yorkers Against Unfair Taxes," with the primary purpose of defeating Albany's proposed 18-percent-tax-hike on juice drinks and soda, Convenience Store News reported.

    "We've come together -- hardworking individuals, struggling families and already burdened small businesses -- to prevent the enactment of this unfair and misdirected tax that could cost our state over 6,000 jobs," said Nelson Eusebio, the chairman of the newly formed group, which is based in Flushing.

    "Our coalition understands that New Yorkers are already among the highest-taxed people in the country. And we won't sit idly by while Albany tries to hit us with another 18 percent tax on beverages that New York families drink every day. This is a regressive tax that disproportionately targets middle- and lower-income New Yorkers, and we won't be fooled by Albany trying to control our lifestyle by policing what we eat and drink," added Eusebio.

    The 18 percent tax he referred to would be in addition to the sales tax consumers already pay, as well as the extra deposit cost. Together, all of the new and expanded proposed taxes that Gov. David Paterson is proposing, including this new beverage tax, would add nearly $4,000 to the annual expenses of an average New York family, and could lead to the loss of one in 10 jobs in New York, according to The New York Assembly Ways and Means Committee Staff.

    "In an economy like this, the last thing the government should be doing is raising taxes," maintained Eusebio. "I have seen, firsthand, small supermarkets and neighborhood bodegas boarding up their doors at an alarming rate. It's not fair to place the extra burden on us, and it's the wrong solution to our state's budget troubles."

    Eusebio is issuing a call to all New Yorkers to reject the tax. New Yorkers can join the coalition's fight at www.nobeveragetax.com to declare their support, sign the petition and make their opposition known to the governor and their state representatives.

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