california's soda tax



OVERVIEW. California faces a perfect storm: one of the greatest fiscal crises the state has faced since the Great Depression coupled with an unprecedented obesity crises that costs California more than $41 billion annually.  To help address this challenge, Assembly Bill 669 (Monning) would levy a one penny tax per fluid ounce on soda and other sugary drinks, raising an estimated $1.7 billion annually to simultaneously support public schools, improve the health of California’s children, and address the childhood obesity epidemic.  On April 21, 2011, the California Center for Public Health Advocacy released a county-by-county analysis of how much of these new revenues would be returned to communities throughout the state.

THE STUDY.To determine each county’s share of proposed annual soda tax revenue, CCPHA determined how much of the revenue would go to the county’s schools based on its share of the Proposition 98 guarantee and how much would go to each county based upon funding allocations defined in the legislation and each county’s proportion of the state’s total population.
FINDINGS.  The study found that the soda tax would bring $1.4 billion -- $233 per student -- to local schools and communities.  $1.15 billion will go directly to schools, a combination of $850 million through the Proposition 98 guarantee and $300 million to fund improvements in physical education and school lunches.  Another $300 million will go to local communities for childhood obesity prevention efforts like youth sports and afterschool programs.  The remaining 15% of revenues will fund statewide obesity prevention efforts and medically based prevention and intervention programs.

RESOURCES.  Read the press release and the full study report.  How much soda tax money would go to each county is presented in this summary chart of California counties and in county fact sheets. Spokespersons for the study are listed here. Media coverage of the study can be read here.