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A California lawmaker has introduced legislation that would slap a penny-per-ounce tax on every soda and sugar-sweetened beverage sold in the state.
A majority of Californians would support a “small” tax on sweetened soda as a way to fight obesity, according to a Field Poll survey sponsored by a public health advocacy group. The poll found that 56 percent would support such a tax, with 43 percent opposed.
Modest additional sales taxes on sweetened soft drinks won’t do much to curb consumption or child obesity, according to a study released today. But higher special taxes on soda might have more impact.
California Senate Majority Leader Dean Florez (D-Shafter) has introduced legislation to tax sodas and other sugar-sweetened beverages to fund childhood obesity programs.
The bill would levy a penny tax for every teaspoon of added sugar in commercial beverages sold. Florez estimates that the excise tax on beverage distributors would raise $1.5 billion annually. The money would go to California cities and schools to pay for childhood obesity prevention programs.