Boston Foundation President Paul Grogan comments on soda sales tax provision in Patrick budget

January 19, 2012

For immediate release: January 20, 2012
Contact: Ted McEnroe, 617-338-3890

Boston – Paul S. Grogan, the President and CEO of the Boston Foundation, issued the following statement after the announcement by Gov. Deval Patrick’s budget chief that the Governor’s FY 2013 budget includes a proposal to remove the Massachusetts sales tax exemption on soda and candy. Secretary of Administration and Finance Jay Gonzalez says the proposal would generate an estimated $62.5 million in annual revenue.

“On behalf of the Healthy People / Healthy Economy coalition, I am pleased the Governor has again called for an end to the tax exemption for candy and sugar-sweetened beverages, said Grogan. “We know the massive cost of obesity to our health care system –it will continue to crowd out essential investment in areas like public health if we don’t address it aggressively and creatively.”

The Boston Foundation and NEHI, along with other key contributors, formed the Healthy People/Healthy Economy Coalition in 2010 to stem a rising tide of preventable chronic illness and the threat it poses to the Commonwealth's health, fiscal stability and economic competitiveness.

On December 15th, 2011 the coalition held a news conference at the State House to call for the removal of the tax exemption. Pediatricians from a number of the state’s leading hospitals joined the coalition at the event, and launched a statewide effort to educate children and their parents on the health effects of drinking large amounts of sugar-sweetened soda.


The Boston Foundation, Greater Boston’s community foundation, is one of the oldest and largest community foundations in the nation, with net assets of $850 million.  In 2011, the Foundation and its donors made almost $78 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and received gifts of $81 million. The Foundation is made up of some 850 separate charitable funds established by donors either for the general benefit of the community or for special purposes.  The Boston Foundation also serves as a major civic leader, provider of information, convener and sponsor of special initiatives designed to address the community’s and region’s most pressing challenges.  For more information about the Boston Foundation, visit or call 617-338-1700.