Provincial sales tax will be expanded to sweetened carbonated drinks at a rate of seven per cent. (Black Press Media file photo)

Budget 2020: B.C. adds tax to sweet drinks and sodas

All soda, vending machine drinks will be subject to higher PST

Starting this summer, the B.C. government will add provincial sales tax (PST) to all carbonated beverages containing sugar or natural or artificial sweeteners.

The announcement says the sweet drinks, which the Canada Food Guide warns against consuming, will no longer qualify for the ‘food products for human consumption’ exemption under the provincial tax.

READ ALSO: 10 B.C. cities to pilot new program against childhood obesity

The seven per cent tax will also be extended to all beverages dispensed through soda fountains, soda guns or similar equipment, as well as all beverages in vending machines, with the exception of those dedicated to serving drinks other than sweet drinks such as coffee or water.

B.C. Finance Minister Carole James said the tax measure comes in response to repeated recommendations from health experts, including the Medical Services Premium Task Force.

“I hope ultimately we do see a reduction in the sales of sugary drinks and sweetened beverages,” she said, adding lobby groups have pushed for a more expansive tax on everything from juice to sweetened milk. “We feel this is taking a step in addressing the risk when it comes to sweetened beverages.”

READ ALSO: Vancouver Island school says ‘no’ to pop and juice

In its 2020-2021 fiscal plan, the government says “deterrence effects” are expected to be most prevalent in frequent pop drinkers – of whom young males are the highest demographic. The government says sweet drink consumption is higher in youth aged 14 to 18.

The sweet drinks PST will be introduced on July 1.



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

B.C. Budget 2020BC legislaturebudget

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mental health in the time of COVID-19

Taking care of our mental health is just as important as protecting our physical health

Interior Health officials outline pandemic response in virtual town hall

Kelowna-Lake County MLA Norm Letnick moderates digital discussion, Q&A with Interior Health leadership

MP Morrison touts non-partisan effort to provide relief amid COVID-19 pandemic

The federal government has announced a slew of economic initiatives for those impacted by the pandemic

Elk Valley seniors aren’t alone in facing COVID-19

A number of services have popped up throughout town to support seniors during the pandemic

B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

’Not out of the woods yet’ as next two weeks are critical

B.C. VIEWS: Small businesses need our help

Just as integral in neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Surrey as they are in Prince George or Kelowna

‘Tremendous’ response from blood donors has supply keeping pace with demand

About 400,000 of Canada’s 37 million residents give blood on a regular basis

Morning world update: Cases surge past 600,000; positive news in Germany

Spain suffers its deadliest day as Germany considers April 20 to possibly loosen restrictions

VIDEO: Penguins roam empty halls of Vancouver Aquarium

COVID-19 has forced the Vancouver Aquarium to close access to guests – leaving room for its residents

Kids get back to learning in B.C., online

Ministry of Education rolls out new tool for school

67 more B.C. COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Vancouver region

Positive tests found in Surrey, Langley long-term care facilities

‘Now is not the time to bag that peak’: BCSAR manager discourages risky outdoor adventures

Call volumes are not going down, even as the COVID-19 pandemic persists

Most Read