MI Senate approves bill to prevent soda, food taxes

Beverages are displayed at a demonstration against a proposed sugary drinks tax Wednesday, May 4, 2016, outside City Hall in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Legislation advancing in Michigan would prohibit municipalities from levying a tax on food and drinks.

Supporters of the bill approved 31-5 in the Republican-led Senate Wednesday want to prevent local taxes on soda and other unhealthy items.

Such taxation isn’t under consideration at the local level in Michigan. But advocates of the legislation say it’s needed to pre-empt potential local taxes after municipalities such as Philadelphia and Cook County, which includes Chicago, enacted a tax on sugary and artificially sweetened beverages.

The bill next goes to the GOP-controlled House, where a similar measure could be voted on as early as this week.

Some Democrats who opposed the legislation noted that no Michigan cities are considering food and soda taxes, but Michigan should not restrict their ability to address financial problems.