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Published March 20, 2013, 05:19 PM

New tax could give second thoughts to buying snacks

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Satisfying that craving for a midnight snack could soon get more expensive in Minnesota.

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Satisfying that craving for a midnight snack could soon get more expensive in Minnesota.

A bill calls for a sales tax on certain snack foods.

Right now customers coming in to buy things like this bag of potato chips or this bag of almonds aren't paying any sales tax, but if the proposed bill does go through, buying treats like this will put a bigger dent in your wallet.

The so-called Snack Tax Bill would apply Minnesota sales tax to many of your favorite treats like potato chips, nuts, cookies, donuts and ice cream, and not everyone is on board.

Courtney Green, Shopper: “That's kind of ridiculous we already have enough tax on everything.”

David Lepper, Shopper: “What's after snack foods? Milk, soda, I mean we can’t buy the soda we want because it's too big.”

The new legislation was introduced by Minnesota Senator John Hoffman. He sees it as a way to encourage healthy eating by discouraging people from buying snack food.

Lepper: “I don't remember us giving them that authority in the constitution.”

Green: “I think it's kind of up to people if they want to lose weight.”

So let’s break it down: Say if I bought 16 items on the list of considered snack foods with not a single item being taxed, I would pay a total of $48.27. If the items included the proposed tax I would have paid an extra $3.32.

Lepper: “They just add secret taxes in and then you forget about it and then we'll tax something else.”

We spoke with a nutritionist who says only taxing smaller snack items may send the wrong messages in terms of portion control.

Susan Lundy, Nutrionist, Abbott Northwestern Hospital: “Essentially what you're saying is that you're going to be taxed for the little guys, but the big things are going to have a lot more bad for you items in them are going to slap your hand, so I will say that's a little bit confusing.”

The bill was heard in a House committee for the first time on Wednesday afternoon, but no vote was taken, so until then snack on.

At least 14 other states apply sales tax to snack foods like chips, pretzels, and baked goods.