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April 05, 1993|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Are Coke and Pepsi Foods or Drinks?: The state of Ohio is demanding that the makers of Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola reveal their secret formulas to settle a dispute over whether the soft drinks should be taxed as beverages. At issue is a new state levy on soft drinks--1 cent on every 12 ounces--designed to raise $70 million a year. The beverage industry has challenged the tax, saying Ohio's Constitution forbids taxing food and soft drinks are foods. In papers filed in Franklin County Common Pleas Court, the state told Coke and Pepsi that if they want their products exempted they must divulge their formulas.

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