While Governor Paterson's obesity tax bellyflopped, Nassau County is taking a cue from it. With falling county revenue, county officials included a 2% tax on fast food items as part of its budget—it could bring in more than $11 million. While Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi would rather have a cigarette tax first, he told Newsday, "In the best of all possible worlds it's better to try to discourage unhealthy behavior instead of relying on property taxes. We're just trying to figure out the way to solve the problems without wrecking the county and without raising property taxes." But his office hasn't considered whether healthy food sold at fast food chains would be taxed. A Dunkin' Brands spokesperson said, "We understand that many state and local governments are facing budget deficits due to the tough economic environment, but imposing taxes on consumers and small-business owners is not the way to solve these problems." The State Legislature would have to approve the budget.
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