Soda Tax Is Again Before California Legislators

California lawmakers have again introduced legislation to impose a fee on sodas and other sugary beverages — not a true tax, but a “health impact fee” to be paid by beverage distributors.

Still, the presumption is that the two-cents-an-ounce fee — 24 cents on a 12-ounce can of soda — would be passed along to consumers, and, if passed, would raise $2 billion annually. “That’s real money,” said the legislation’s author, Assemblymember Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica.

The revenue would go into a “Healthy California Fund,” to be created by the bill. From there it would be spent on public health programs across the state, to fight obesity, diabetes and dental disease.