News & Media

News & Media

Apr 14, 2010

Letter to Editor: “Bottled water tax is wrong”

A letter to the editor in The Columbian, in Washington state:

As president of Lodi Water Company, a small water bottler in Eastern Washington, I am concerned about the taxes in the state budget package.

Included is a temporary tax increase on products that contribute to diabetes, obesity and alcoholism but only for the large players; the small players are exempt. OK. But why permanently tax a product — bottled water — that does not contribute to disease, and then tax all companies, large and small? We should not punish those who choose to live healthy lifestyles and make it easy for those who choose not to.

Whether we agree or disagree that bottled water is or is not a discretionary purchase, consumers will continue to drive the demand for healthy alternatives to other soft drink choices. This sales tax on bottled water is in poor judgment and a bad policy that discourages Washington residents from making healthy lifestyle choices.

By exempting the small players in the beer and soda industries and not the bottled water industries is plain discrimination.

At the least, the same policy for the beer and soda industries should be extended to the bottled water industry to protect small Washington businesses.

Jim Connelly
Chewelah, WA

The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) is the authoritative source of information about all types of bottled waters. Founded in 1958, IBWA's membership includes U.S. and international bottlers, distributors and suppliers. IBWA is committed to working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates bottled water as a packaged food product, and state governments to set stringent standards for safe, high quality bottled water products. Additionally, IBWA requires member bottlers to adhere to the IBWA Bottled Water Code of Practice, which mandates additional standards and practices that in some cases are more stringent than federal and state regulations. A key feature of the IBWA Model Code is an annual plant inspection by an independent, third party organization.

For more information about IBWA, bottled water and a list of member‚ brands, please contact
Chris Hogan, IBWA‚ Vice President of Communications at 703-647-4609 or [email protected].

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