A proposed tax on sugary beverages is still being pushed by the state Health Commissioner, but one local Assemblyman says that if it passes, the cost of powdered drink mixes such as Kool-Aid, Gatorade and iced tea would nearly double. Because the law would add a "penny per ounce" tax on the total quantity of beverage produced by added sweeteners, an average canister of powdered lemonade could jump in price from $4.19 to $8.03, simply because of how much "drink" it yields. And Assemblyman Michael Benjamin (D-Bronx) says poor people would suffer most.

"People who are poor or working class tend to drink the powdered stuff because it goes a lot further than bottled or can drinks," Benjamin tells the Post. But State Budget Division spokesman Matt Anderson argues that the proposed tax structure "ensures equity." According to Anderson, it makes sense because "a relatively small amount of powder can produce a very large quantity of these unhealthy, high-calorie sugared beverages." But how will poor people stay hydrated when powdered drinks like Kool-Aid become luxury items?