Vermont Public Radio reports the state’s Attorney General Bill Sorrell wants the Legislature to enact a “one cent per ounce excise tax on sugar sweetened beverages.” He blames soda for the state’s rising obesity rates, despite Vermont maple syrup having nearly the same calorie count as sugar and high fructose corn syrup.
How about taxing “the official flavor of Vermont,” Mr. Sorrell? Whether he wants to admit it or not, the sugar found in pure maple syrup is no healthier than white sugar, according to the Cornell Sugar Maple Research & Extension Program:
The sugar in maple syrup is sucrose and invert sugar. White sugar is sucrose, whereas invert sugar is a breakdown product of sucrose. There is no evidence that maple syrup is healthier than white sugar.
In fact, white table sugar contains 49 calories per tablespoon and pure maple syrup contains 52 calories per tablespoon, one calorie less than high fructose corn syrup that is found in most of the sugar sweetened beverages Mr. Sorrell proposes taxing.
Here’s how we see it, Mr. Sorrell: Your state consistently leads the U.S. in the production of maple syrup with 890,000 gallons produced in 2010 alone. That makes Vermont a contributor to the so-called obesity epidemic when millions of consumers nationwide smother steaming hot plates of pancakes with with your state’s pure maple syrup.
In the spirit of fairness, what are your thoughts about asking state legislators nationwide to enact sin taxes on Vermont maple syrup, Mr. Sorrell? All is fair in love and anti-obesity crusades, isn’t that right?
Contact Attorney General Bill Sorrell and ask him why he’s such a huge hypocrite: