A Utah legislator has asked his colleagues to study the potential for taxing caffeine as a new stream of revenue for the state, the Salt Lake City Tribune reported.
Rep. Craig Frank told the newspaper he had initially wanted to target caffeinated sodas and other cold beverages, but decided to look at the substance more broadly.
Frank’s proposal comes in response to failed attempts to raise the state’s cigarette taxes, the Tribune reported.
Frank told the newspaper he had seen research that caffeine can cause spontaneous abortion and psychological abnormalities, among other disorders.
States across the country are considering new fees and taxes to fill growing budget gaps. In New York, for example, Gov. David Paterson had proposed $1.3 billion in next taxes on some goods and services, including music downloads and sugar-filled drinks. He later said he would use federal stimulus money instead.