Nestle Chides Michigan Bottled Water Tax

December 16, 2009

1 Min Read
Nestle Chides Michigan Bottled Water Tax

STANWOOD, Mich.Nestle Waters North America, parent company of Michigan-based Ice Mountain bottled water company, said an unconstitutional proposal to place a 10-cent tax per bottle on bottled water manufactured in Michigan put forward by Lt. Governor and gubernatorial candidate John Cherry threatens thousands of jobs Michigan's water bottlers provide and would weaken producers' viability to operate in Michigan.

Cherry announced the proposed tax to fund education scholarships cut in recent state budget scale-backs. The tax would not be imposed on the hundreds of beverage products manufactured outside the state but which are sold at Michigan retailers. The proposal also would halt or slow further investment by Michigan bottlers into new Michigan facilities and manufacturing equipment upgrades that would create additional jobs.

"The proposal would create an uneven playing field for those of us invested in Michigan that could not reasonably be sustained. A 10-cent per bottle tax on Michigan manufactured products nearly doubles the price for consumers, and would be unsustainable in the highly competitive beverage marketplace, said Brian Flaherty, Vice President of Government Affairs for Nestle Waters. "Consumers are very savvy, and rarely could be convinced to pay nearly double for Michigan-produced bottle water when lesser-priced options exist. I challenge you to ask consumers if they'd pay $6.50 for a case when they can pay less than $4 for the same product made elsewhere."

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