Monning's Soda Tax Bill Dies in Committee
April 25, 2011
The Assembly Committee on Revenue and Taxation voted down a penny-per-ounce excise tax on sweetened beverages on Monday, killing a bill introduced by Assemblyman Bill Monning. The tax, which would have generated an estimated $1.7 billion annually for a public health research and outreach fund, was designed to discourage consumption of sugar-loaded beverages.
“While I am disappointed that AB 669 did not pass, I remain committed to continuing to pursue this issue and educating the public about the health dangers of sugary drinks," Monning said in a statement. He calls such drinks the single largest contributor to current obesity trends, which have taken a serious toll on health in the central coast region, where one in three children are overweight and some 60 percent of adults are overweight, based on body mass index.
Proponents of a soda tax cite the success of taxing tobacco in reducing rates of smoking, a correlation the Centers for Disease Control have recorded over about 15 years. “The smoking analogy may be a convenient one for them," says Bob Achermann, executive director for the lobbyist California-Nevada Soft Drink Association, "but it’s not a valid one. Smoking is not healthy when used as directed."
Monning maintains the tobacco analogy is a good one. “It’s resulted in a measurable reduction of health related effects," he says.