Continuing Battle to Tax Sugary Beverages at the Local and State Levels

As a founding member of the coalition Californians for Less Soda, we continue the difficult struggle against Big Soda to compel the State of California to do the right thing and allow taxation of sugary beverages, locally or statewide. Sugary beverages are the primary source of added sugar in the average human diet. This over consumption is currently costing the state $40 billion per year in healthcare costs and lost economic productivity due to Type II Diabetes and other diet related disease. Taxing soda would generate tens of millions annually for investment in regional sources of healthy food for those who need it most.  We are five years into this effort and it will continue working with a growing list of allies until we prevail.

Beginning in 2019 and perhaps until 2022, ROC and Californians for Less Soda will be working to undue Big Soda’s nefarious act to ban (preempt) local taxation of sugary beverages. This stifling of local democratic control occurred after Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco and Albany all passed local taxes and more cities and counties were preparing to do the same.  Millions of dollars have been raised to improve public health and communities, particularly for kids, in the places where the taxes exist in parts of this nation and the world. As a result of the preemption of local taxation, our coalition is seeking passage of city and county resolutions up and down the state that call on the Legislature to end the preemption on local sugary beverage taxes. Given COVID 19 and the serious damage it has wrought on public health and local economies, we feel beverage taxes are a great way for communities to raise money to heal the diet related diseases that are the co-morbidities underlying the most serious cases of COVID. To learn more and help your community or organization join our campaign hit this link or to receive periodic email updates, hit this link.