CNMI cinema could go if sugar tax passes

6:40 pm on 20 May 2016
Bottles of soft drinks, isolated on a white background. (file photo)

Photo: 123RF

The only cinema in the Northern Marianas says it will be forced to close if an increased tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, powders and syrups becomes a law.

Governor Ralph Torres said representatives from the cinema, and from wholesalers and hotels, pleaded the negative effects of the sugar tax.

Mr Torres said the cinema told him the tax would most likely cause it to shut down because it made most of its money from soft drinks.

He said the business industry was totally opposed to the measure, with small businesses also saying they were in danger of being shut down.

The sector also reminded the governor that the current tax was already one of the highest among the US territories and the mainland.

The law is to impose a further four-cent per ounce tax.

Mr Torres said he hadn't made up his mind yet whether to veto or sign the measure into law.