Today's Law As Amended

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AB-1163 Local government: taxation: prohibition: groceries. (2021-2022)

As Amends the Law Today

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Evidence linking the consumption of sugary drinks to the risk of diabetes and other metabolic dysfunction, heart disease, stroke, and tooth decay has been clearly established.
(b) According to nutritional experts, sweetened beverages such as soft drinks, energy drinks, sweet teas, and sports drinks offer little or no nutritional value, but contain massive quantities of added sugars. A 20-ounce bottle of soda contains the equivalent of approximately 16 teaspoons of sugar, yet the American Heart Association recommends that Americans consume no more than 5 to 9 teaspoons of sugar per day.
(c) Hispanics, African Americans, Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders have a higher prevalence of type II diabetes than non-Hispanic Whites. Hispanics and African Americans have roughly two times higher prevalence. For example, seven percent of non-Hispanic Whites have type II diabetes, compared with 12 percent of Hispanics. Nine percent of Asian Americans, 14 percent of Pacific Islanders, 13 percent of African Americans, and 17.5 percent of Native American and Alaska Native populations have type II diabetes. If trends are not reversed, it is predicted that 40 percent of Americans and nearly one-half of Latino and African American children born in the year 2000 will develop type II diabetes in their lifetimes.
(d) The very same Californians who are more likely to suffer from these preventable chronic diseases linked with overconsumption of sugary drinks, like hypertension and type II diabetes, are also more likely to have COVID-19 infections that result in hospitalization and even death.
(e) Research on sugary drink taxes has contributed to a now solid evidence base showing that these taxes can help lower the consumption of sugary drinks as well as generate revenue for cash-strapped local governments that can be invested equitably back into Black and Brown communities.
(f) The reduction of consumption of sugary drinks and the expected drop in rates of type II diabetes, fatty liver disease, heart disease, stroke, and obesity, especially among the populations most impacted by these diseases, can lower the cost of health care.
(g) Localities are hamstrung because of statewide preemption of local soda taxes to generate funding directed to community efforts to address community led and informed efforts to improve local health equity conditions directly impacted by the consumption of sugary drinks.
(h) California voters who passed soda taxes in their cities have improved the health of their residents and given their cities millions of dollars in revenue available to stave off budget cuts due to the COVID-19 induced economic downturn.
(i) Seattle, one of America’s two cities earliest and most impacted by COVID-19, is using a sugary drink tax right now to give $800 to over 6,000 of their residents to help infuse much needed resources into some of the most vulnerable communities in the city.
(j) Studies on the taxation of sugary drinks have estimated a 55 to 1 return on investment in health care savings. Governmental entities that have implemented a sugary drink tax have not seen negative impacts on food sector employment or revenue. Data from the City of Berkeley shows a 7.2 percent growth in food sector employment and a 15 percent growth in sales tax revenue following the implementation of a sugary drink tax in the city. Mexico and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, have also found continued growth in the beverage sector employment subsequent to the tax implementation.
(k) California cities and counties need every single tool available to fight the devastating health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and to give their residents the possibility of a healthier future.

SEC. 2.

 Chapter 1.8 (commencing with Section 7284.8) of Part 1.7 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code is repealed.