Battle Over Sugary Drink Tax Bubbles Up In Sacramento

SACRAMENTO (KCBS) — Sugary drinks are in the spotlight in Sacramento now that, for the first time, a tax on those beverages has made it though a legislative committee.

Senator Bill Monning of Carmel, who authored the bill that proposes a 1-cent-per-ounce-tax on sugary beverages, said it would finance a physical and nutritional education fund for children.

Chuck Finnie, speaking on behalf of the American Beverage Association, called it a political ploy to raise taxes.

“That $2.8 billion in taxes is going to get passed along down the chain to retail businesses in California and to consumers,” he said.

Monning said raising the price is in fact one of the intents of the bill.

“While it is an excise tax that the manufacturer would have to pay, we fully expect that cost does get passed to the consumer and by raising the cost of sugar-sweetened beverages, there’s a direct correlation in direct consumption,” said Monning.

According to Monning one out of three children born in California in the 2000’s will have preventable diabetes as adults. He said you can increase that statistic to one out of two in low-income, minority communities.

“We have a public health epidemic,” he said.

The bill now heads to the Senate Health Committee on Wednesday.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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