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SFA OPPOSES PROPOSED SNACK TAX IN MARYLAND

 SFA OPPOSES PROPOSED SNACK TAX IN MARYLAND
 ALEXANDRIA, Va., March 24 /PRNewswire/ -- The Maryland Senate has


passed a 5.5 percent tax on snack foods, and the Maryland House Ways and Means Committee has passed it along for consideration by the House of Delegates as early as today. In response, Snack Food Association (SFA) President Jim Shufelt urged Maryland legislators not to follow the ill-fated lead of California by enacting a tax that is unfair and places a greater burden on low and moderate income consumers.
 "Maryland is considering a tax on food during a recession. This type of tax is so unpopular in California it is going to be repealed before its first birthday; I do not want to see Maryland make the same mistake," Shufelt said.
 California was the first state to enact a tax on snack foods last summer. The public response in opposition to the tax has been overwhelming. In fact, legislators in that state who supported the tax last summer are now leading the movement for a ballot initiative to repeal the tax, which has already qualified for the November ballot. California Gov. Pete Wilson, who championed the tax as part of his budget package, now says he will not oppose the initiative to repeal the tax.
 "The purchasing power of consumers, especially those in lower- and middle-income brackets, is diminished by taxes on snack foods. The taxes are also unfair because they arbitrarily single out one class of food, even though snacks are a recognized part of a balanced diet and add nutrition to the diets of people who eat them," Shufelt added. "I understand that many states face daunting budget deficits, but arbitrary taxes of this kind only serve to confuse consumers and further depress the quality of life of average citizens."
 The Snack Food Association is an international trade association of approximately 850 company members that represents snack manufacturers and suppliers to the snack industry. Snacks produced and sold by SFA members include potato chips, corn chips, tortilla chips, pretzels, popcorn, pork rinds, nuts, extruded snacks, dried meat snacks, multigrain chips, bite-size crackers, cracker sandwiches, filled products, party mix, trail mix, bagel chips, fruit snacks, dips and dip mixes.
 -0- 3/24/92
 /CONTACT: Jim McCarthy of the Snack Food Association, 703-836-4500/ CO: Snack Food Association ST: Maryland IN: SU: LEG


MK-TW -- DC018 -- 1097 03/24/92 13:02 EST
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Date:Mar 24, 1992
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