Mayor DeWitt and City Council commended for considering sugary beverages tax ordinance; future debate encouraged

by the American Heart Association

Although Ordinance 20-25 is tabled, working to reduce consumption of sugary beverages and improve community health through a sugary beverages tax should be a long-term goal, notes the American Heart Association.

With the tabling of the City of Bethel Ordinance 20-25, local residents will have to wait to enjoy the health benefits and expanded community programs that would have been funded through revenue generated from the proposed sugary beverages tax.

“We appreciate the hard work, research and careful consideration Bethel City Councilmembers put forth while considering this ordinance,” said Jamie Morgan, Government Relations Regional Lead, American Heart Association. “While not the ultimate outcome we desired for Bethel families, we commend Mayor Michelle DeWitt for her vision and commitment to the health of the community in proposing this ordinance.

“The beverage industry executed an aggressive marketing campaign that was full of misinformation. It was clear that Bethel residents did their own research and fact checked the lies. Community support for the sugary beverages tax was growing as evidenced by the positive public testimony shared during city council meetings.

“The dangers of sugary beverages are clear, and sugary beverage taxes in other cities have proven to be effective in improving health and reducing purchases while not harming local businesses. I hope to see public education and debate continue and for the city council to consider this innovative public health policy in the future.”