Report Says San Diego Would Reap $116 Million Annually From Soda Tax
Friday, April 22, 2011
SAN DIEGO A measure that would impose a 1-cent-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks will get its first hearing in the California legislature on Monday. A new report finds the tax would generate $1.7 billion a year to fight obesity.
The report says San Diego County's annual share of the tax revenue would be $116 million. The California Center for Public Health Advocacy says its report is based on data from the State Board of Equalization.
Under the measure, most of the money would go to school-district and community initiatives to reduce obesity.
The center's Dr. Howard Goldstein wrote the report. He said taxing sweetened drinks makes sense.
"Given the enormous social costs and the harm that these products are doing," Goldstein pointed out, "it's very reasonable as a public health strategy, to raise the price of those products, and to use those funds to help solve the problem."
The measure would require a two-thirds vote in the state legislature to pass. At least four Republican legislators would have to approve it.
So far this year, GOP members have maintained their no-new-taxes pledge.
California lawmakers rejected a soda tax last year.