Debate Over LA Sugary Drink Tax Sweetens - KMSP-TV

Debate Over LA Sugary Drink Tax Sweetens

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Sacramento, CA -

(FOX 11) This week lawmakers in Sacramento will decide on the controversial sugar tax. If the bill is passed and turned into state law, California will soon be taxing sugary drinks one cent per fluid ounce.

This means a can of soda, which is 12 ounces, will have an added 12 cents extra in taxes. Lawmakers say the money collected from this tax will help fund obesity prevention programs in schools. The bill's author, Senator Bill Monning (D-Carmel) says this is the first step toward stemming the epidemic of childhood Obesity.

"If you raise the price to be equivalent to healthful drinks, you'll reduce consumption, similar to a tobacco tax," said Monning.

But many are furious the state is making dietary decisions through taxes.

"It should be up to the individual to decide not to drink soda. Taxing soda will not change anything, " says Jose Vasques who lost 30lbs by changing his diet and cutting out sugary soda. "I made that decision myself, not because of a tax. They tax tobacco and gasoline but we all still use it."

The beverage industry has also cried foul saying this tax unfairly targets one specific industry: soda. They also point out that the restaurant industry is already facing a lot of other cost increases.

A soda tax proposal in the Northern California community of Richmond was defeated overwhelmingly about three months ago as well as a similar ban here in El Monte.


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