PITTSBURGH -- As Congress discusses the possibility of adding a federal surcharge to sugar-sweetened beverages, the mere thought of another tax is leaving a sour taste in the mouths of consumers.
"We feel angry enough as it is with current taxes and what we're paying for stuff," said Kelly Kaylor of White Oak.
Supporters of the tax believe it could help Congress pay for a portion of universal health care, which President Barack Obama has made a priority.
Health advocates hope the move could also serve as a tool to fight obesity.
"If this purpose is to actually limit consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages among kids, and influence their health in a positive way, then I'm supportive of that," said Dr. Goutham Rao of UPMC Weight Management Center.
Diet drinks with little or no calories could be exempt, but the thought of a sugary drink tax has left a bad taste in the mouth of small businesses and their owners who rely on soda sales.
"You're deterring people from spending. I think we need something to stimulate the economy not deter it," said Mineo's Pizza House owner Dominic Mineo.