California Lawmaker Wants Statewide Tax On Sugary Drinks

In response to what he calls an “aggressive campaign soda manufacturers are waging for a particular demographic,” California Assemblymember Bill Monning recently introduced a measure that would use tax revenue from the sale of such beverages to fund critical childhood obesity programs.

Assemblymember Monning addressed the correlation between rising sugary beverage consumption and the costly childhood obesity epidemic in California. Currently, programs designed to counteract the epidemic are facing severe cuts in light of the state budget crisis.

“We’re witnessing the perfect storm- a costly childhood obesity crisis driven by a 228 percent increase in soda consumption, and looming budget cuts that would abandon the very programs protecting those children,” said Monning.

If enacted, the sweetened beverage tax (AB 669) could generate $1.7 billion annually by levying a penny an ounce on every sugar-sweetened beverage sold in California, such as sodas, sweet teas, and sports drinks.

Hear more of Monning’s thoughts in this Assembly Access video:

As extreme as it may seem, Monning’s bill isn’t the first time a California politician has spoken out against the sweetened beverage industry. Last year San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order banning vending machines on city property from dispensing Coke, Pepsi and other calorically sweetened beverages.

Related Reading:

San Francisco Mayor Bans Soft Drinks On City Property
Pancreatic Cancer: The Latest Reason Not To Consume Soft Drinks
Mexico Bans Junk Food For Children

Image Credit: Flickr - Michael Licht, NotionsCapital.com

189 comments

Jo S.
Jo S.11 months ago

Thank you Beth.

Scott haakon
Scott haakon3 years ago

Did these idiots not learn from the New York fiasco? Government has no place it this at all. Time to get rid of the Nanny state before we find ourselves living in the future of Demolition Man.

Joe R.
Joe R.4 years ago

Regressive taxes just hurt the poor.

Carole R.
Carole R.4 years ago

This was tried in Philadelphia but it was put to a vote and did not pass.

jane richmond
jane richmond5 years ago

when did David Patterson move to California?

Elena Arutiunova
Elena Arutiunova5 years ago

I think soda is a BIG problem...

susan drais
susan drais5 years ago

MEDICATIONS CAUSED MY WEIGHT GAIN - WHY TAX ME FOR THAT? I DON'T DRINK JUNK FOODS OF ANY KIND, BUT WHY TAX PEOPLE LIKE ME WHO HAVE TO TAKE LIFE SAVING MEDS.FOR SOMEONE ELSE'S PROBLEM?

Chavonne Harvey
Chavonne H.5 years ago

soda is only 1% of the problem, chips, candy,cookies, hamburgers, french fries, fast foods, fried chicken, pizza are the others.

Cheryl B.
Cheryl B.5 years ago

sounds like a plan

Cheryl B.
Cheryl B.5 years ago

great news