The California Chamber of Commerce today added AB 1357 (Bloom; D-Santa Monica) to its “job killer” list, bringing the total number of bills on the list to 19.
AB 1357 (Bloom) is a “job killer” because it is a targeted tax on one industry that will ultimately harm consumers and workers within the beverage industry.
The bill seeks to charge a $0.02 fee on each fluid ounce of a bottled sweetened beverage and a $0.02 fee on each fluid ounce produced from a concentrate from which a sweetened beverage is derived. The revenues would be used to fund the Children and Family Health Promotion Trust.
According to CalChamber’s analysis, AB 1357 is a tax, not a fee because the revenue raised 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. As CalChamber’s opposition letter explains: “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.”
In addition, higher costs for beverages will have a direct impact on the beverage industry and its employees. The proposed tax will force impacted businesses to adjust for losses, including potential reductions in their workforce.
AB 1357 (Bloom) is scheduled to be heard in the Assembly Health Committee on May 12.
To view the job killer list, visit www.CAJobKillers.com.
For up-to-date information on the “job killer” list, follow @CAJobKillers on Twitter.