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Lakewood To Begin Taxing Soda And Candy

Jeff Adair
Flickr Commons

The city of Lakewood is moving forward with a plan to impose a 3 percent city sales tax on soft drinks and candy. The new tax will be considered once more at a public hearing Monday August 27.The change in the Lakewood’s tax code was first considered at the city council’s August 13 meeting. The state of Colorado already taxes soft drinks and candy.

In addition to charging a sales tax on soft drinks and candy, the city also wants to exempt sales of food for home consumption, all grocery foods, from a sales tax.

Prior to 2006, Lakewood taxed all sales of food, including prepared food, food for home consumption and food for immediate consumption.

The city doesn’t currently tax food for immediate consumption, which some city officials say is confusing to consumers and difficult for food retailers to administer effectively.

The city of Auroraput a similar tax on soft drinks and candy into practice in June. Aurora is now  collecting city sales tax of 3.75 percent on candy and soft drinks.

According to Aurora's ordinance [.pdf], the term “candy” means a preparation of sugar, honey or other natural or artificial sweeteners in combination with chocolate, fruit, nuts or other flavorings in the form of bars, drops or pieces. It does not include any preparation containing flour and is not refrigerated.

The term “soft drinks” means any nonalcoholic beverage that contains natural or artificial sweeteners but do not include milk or milk products or milk substitutes. It also does not include beverages that have greater than 50 percent of vegetable or fruit juice by volume.

My journalism career started in college when I worked as a reporter and Weekend Edition host for WEKU-FM, an NPR member station in Richmond, KY. I graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a B.A. in broadcast journalism.
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