In an effort to give faltering U.S. juice consumption a boost through more aggressive marketing, Florida citrus officials raised taxes on oranges for juice processing by 19 percent Wednesday, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
The Florida Citrus Commission’s tax increases were lower than previously proposed but higher than any in the past decade, the newspaper said. The higher rate, which increases the per-box tax to 22 cents, is expected to raise $36 million.
Industry advocacy groups wanted the tax remain the same as last year, at 18.5 cents per 90-pound box of oranges harvested for juice processing.
The commission, which is made up of growers from across the state, also increased the taxes on fresh grapefruit but cut the tax on fresh oranges from 20 cents per box to 16 cents, the newspaper said. Fresh oranges account for only about 10 percent of Florida production.
The 22 cent tax on oranges for juice processing will fund a yearlong, $17.7 million TV ad campaign to increase juice exposure during cold and flu season, the newspaper said.