SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The California state legislature is about to take up a bill that would tax soda and other sugary drinks with the money raised going to schools to pay for education and children’s health programs.

A penny per ounce tax on sugar-sweetened drinks would bring California an estimated $1.7 billion a year.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

“What a tax like this does is mitigate the harm that these products are doing,” said Dr. Howard Goldstein with the California Center for Public Health Advocacy, who authored a study on the proposed tax. “Drink one 20 ounce soda and it’s like drinking a piece of chocolate cake.”

Goldstein said that 85 percent of the revenue generated would go directly to schools and counties to fund programs promoting good health.

“We’re talking youth sports programs, after-school programs and in-school things as well like physical education and healthy school lunches,” said Goldstein.

He says the tax is especially needed because budget deficits are leading to the slashing of such programs.

However, Jon Coupal with the Sacramento-based Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association says California already has among the highest taxes in the nation, and this is not the time to impose another one. He also said that it could backfire.

“People will change their behavior to avoid taxation like they do all the time, whether it’s moving out of state, or purchasing things online or in other jurisdictions,” said Coupal.

A committee hearing on the soda tax bill is set for Monday. A two-thirds vote is required for it to pass.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (8)
  1. Cola fan says:

    This is B.S.. Where is the “money grabbing” stop? I don’t drink coffee so a tax there wouldn’t hurt me. Get my point? You’re next! And so on, and so on. Taking away our trivial freedoms for the purpose of generating money not spent well in the first place isn’t something else I should have to pay for because government can’t control their spending!

  2. mechanic says:

    To all you Cola fans: thank your local and state and federal so-called representative for this never-ending taxation (in the name of better health and education for our children). We are all getting pretty sick and tired of hearing that it is “for the children” attached to every explanation they come up with to get further into our pockets.

  3. Kodiax says:

    yeah and we were told the lottery money was going to fund education in calif….

  4. Whathappened says:

    This is only the beginning Brown , steinberg, perez and the rest of the democrats are the 4 horsemane of the apocalypse. They are the most dangerous people ever to hold office there is no way to stop them Within 3 years the state will be unlivable Wait and see

  5. whathappened says:

    One other point Taxes lead to more spending and then more taxes It is like giving a slow acting poision to someone it takes time but it will kill you

  6. Matthew says:

    Let me drink my soda without being bothered by the government. If I want to “drink a chocolate cake” Mr. Goldstein — than that should be my right. Stay out of it. Doesn’t the government have better things to worry about ??

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