Want a soda with that? It’ll cost you, if what you’re after is a non-diet drink and you happen to be in New York, thanks to a controversial tax plan that Gov. David Paterson has cooked up to combat rising obesity rates in his home state.

The New York Times:

The 18 percent “obesity tax,” as it has been called, is part of a broader budget proposal announced on Tuesday, would be on top of existing sales taxes and would apply to nondiet sodas and fruit drinks containing less than 70 percent natural fruit juice, including “-ades, punches and certain fruit nectars,” as the budget proposal put it. The tax, one of few of its kind in the nation, would not apply to bottled water, diet sodas, coffee, tea or milk.

State officials projected that the tax would raise $404 million in the fiscal year that starts in April, and $539 million in the following fiscal year, but said the proposal was primarily a public health measure.

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