The California Chamber of Commerce has identified the 19th “job killer” bill. AB 1357 (Bloom; D-Santa Monica), to be considered by the Assembly Health Committee today, threatens jobs in beverage, retail and restaurant industries by arbitrarily and unfairly targeting certain beverages for a new tax in order to fund children’s health programs.
AB 1357 Is a Tax, Not a Fee
Despite its description as a “health impact fee,” AB 1357 actually seeks to impose a $0.02 excise tax on each fluid ounce of a bottled sweetened beverage and a $0.02 excise tax on each fluid ounce produced from a concentrate from which a sweetened beverage is derived. The revenue from this tax would be used to fund the Children and Family Health Promotion Trust, which would provide state agencies with the authority to issue grants to county governments, nonprofits and other community organizations to invest in childhood obesity and diabetes prevention, as well as oral health.
Given that the recipients of the benefit from this revenue would be beyond just those that actually pay the “fee” and that the “fee” does not fall within any of the other listed exceptions under the California Constitution, it is a tax. (CalChamber, 12 May, 2015)