Soda Tax: Will it Fizz Out?
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The truth: It is unlikely that two-thirds of California's elected representatives will agree to impose new taxes upon the populace, even if the hypothetical tax was levied upon the Antichrist.
Which brings us to the likely Flat-On-Arrival "soda tax" introduced yesterday by Santa Cruz-area Assemblyman Bill Monning. Would it raise billions for health-related causes? Sure. Do the vast majority of Californians agree that childhood obesity is a major problem? Of course. Does anyone want to pay a cent to back up the courage of their convictions? You need an answer for that?
A cent, by the way, is what you'd pay per ounce in the unlikely event Monning's tax is given the thumbs-up by two-thirds of the Assembly and Senate (The assemblyman notes "that is going to be an uphill climb." There's no other kind of climb -- except for straight up the wall. This may be an upwall climb, actually).
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If you were to quaff a can of soda, Gatorade, sweet tea, or other sugary drink a day, incidentally, you'd be out just under $44 a year. Citing figures from the California Center for Public Health, Monning pegs the average Californian's soda consumption at 50 gallons. That comes out to $64 a head per year, if the "Health Cost Recovery Act" becomes a reality.
Speaking of reality, Monning notes "I'm a realist" when asked the chances of his proposal reaching the governor's desk. "But this bill is a vehicle for public education. Hopefully it promotes and provokes a necessary conversation."
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