Pastor Dana Mitchell. Photo by Joe L. Fisher, Black American Political Action Committee (BAPAC).
North Richmond Missionary Baptist Church’s Pastor Dana Mitchell says he is opposed to the Soda Tax that will appear on the November ballot in Richmond.
He says the tax measure provokes two questions. Why Richmond? Why tax soda when so many other sugar-filled sweets are available to local citizens?
“If we are going to lower the sugar intake, it needs to be done comprehensively,” Pastor Mitchell said. “To penalize one city is not a good idea. It [the tax] just deals with soda – we know there are other things people should do to lower their consumption to get healthier.”
According to Mitchell, the proposed tax will hurt merchants, who are sure to lose business and loyal patrons who will simply travel to nearby cities to buy sugar-sweetened beverages.
Mitchell is doubtful the proposed tax, if ratified, would be effective at combating obesity within the community.
“I don’t think it will address the issue. We need to consider different elements that promote obesity, such as lack of exercise and unhealthy eating habits,” he said.
“A bill that penalizes merchants in one specific area will not be effective in fighting obesity.”
Kia Croom is a contributing writer for the Richmond Post.