Before long, Californians may have to pay extra cash for consuming sugary beverages.
On May 12, 2010, the state’s Senate Committee on Revenue and Taxation will consider Senate Bill 1210, which would place a state excise tax of one penny per teaspoon of added sugar on beverages sweetened with sugar, including soft drinks, energy drinks, sweet teas, and sports drinks. The estimated $1.5 billion raised by the tax would be used to fund childhood obesity programs in the state, including physical education classes and healthful school meals.
Introduced by Senate Majority Leader Dean Florez (D-Shafter), SB 1210 is sponsored by the California Center for Public Health Advocacy (CCPHA), which, in a prepared document about the bill, notes that nearly 16 million Californians are obese or overweight.
“There are 10 teaspoons of sugar in every 12 oz can of soda and a child’s risk of obesity increases an average of 60% with each additional daily serving of soda,” the CCPHA document reads. “Yet, a study released last year by the CCPHA and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research found that 41% of children ages 2-11 and 62% of adolescents ages 12-17 consume at least one soda or other sugar-sweetened beverage every day.”
What are your thoughts? Do you think this is bill is a good idea?
— Doug Brunk (on Twitter at dougbrunk)