The Sweetened Beverage Tax Law proposed in Assembly Bill 669 imposes a tax on every distributor of “sweetened beverages” at a rate of $0.01per fluid ounce.

AB 669 states obesity and related medical conditions are on the rise in direct correlation with sweetened beverages.  The bill claims American consumption doubled between 1977 and 2002.

According to the bill, 41 percent of California children 2 to 11 years of age and 62 percent of teens 12 to 17 years of age drink soda daily.

The bill goes on to claim, “… for every additional serving of sweetened beverage that a child consumes a day, the likelihood of the child becoming obese increases by 60 percent.”

The sweetened beverage tax would be administered by the State Board of Equalization and placed into the created Children’s Health Promotion Fund.

A sweetened beverage is defined as any nonalcoholic beverage sold for human consumption that contains any added caloric sweeteners, including: soda water, ginger ale, root beer, all beverages commonly referred to as cola, lime, lemon, lemon-lime, and other flavored beverages, including any fruit or vegetable beverage containing 10 percent or less natural fruit juice or natural vegetable juice and all other beverages commonly referred to as “soda”.

Assembly Bill 669 was introduced by Bill Monning of Assembly District 27, and coauthored by Tom Ammiano of Assembly District 13.

Read the entire bill here.

All funds would be appropriated by the Legislature and allocated to the State Department of Public Health and the Superintendent of Public Instruction for statewide childhood obesity prevention activities and programs.

*Twenty percent to the State Department of Public Health to coordinate statewide childhood obesity prevention activities and to fund state-level childhood obesity prevention and children’s dental programs. Thirty-five percent for community-based childhood obesity prevention programs. Ten percent to evidence-based prevention, early recognition, monitoring, and weight management intervention activities in the medical setting.Thirty-five percent to elementary and secondary schools for educational, environmental, policy and other public health approaches that promote nutrition and physical activity

If passed the law would go into effect July 2012.

Louis Dettorre can be reached at