Plastic bottles of soda could become more expensive after a state lawmaker in California proposed a soda tax to pay for health programs.

Patrick McGreevy
March 8, 2016

Alarmed by an obesity epidemic, two state lawmakers on Tuesday proposed a “health impact fee” of 2 cents per ounce on sugar-sweetened sodas and other drinks sold in California.

The proposal by Democratic Assemblymen Richard Bloom of Santa Monica and Jim Wood of Healdsburg would add 24 cents to 12-ounce soft-drink cans, to be charged at the distributor level.

The more than $2 billion expected to be raised each year under the tax would be given to counties, cities, community-based organizations and licensed clinics to create and maintain obesity and diabetes prevention programs. The money would also go toward providing safe drinking water and creating oral health programs.

“We hope to create a fund that would be used to improve health outcomes, particularly for children afflicted with obesity and diabetes,” Bloom said Tuesday. “Right now there’s very little funding available to address the epidemic of obesity.”

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