Today the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) called on Senator Bill Monning (D-Carmel) to abandon his misguided proposal to place a penny-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages. The bill is scheduled to be heard today at 1:30pm in the Senate Health Committee.

J. Justin Wilson, the Center for Consumer Freedom’s Senior Research Analyst, released the following statement regarding the proposed tax:

Senator Bill Monning’s soda tax proposal amounts to nothing more than a money making exercise for California’s cash-strapped government. A penny-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages will have little to no effect on Californians’ waistlines. Despite claims by Monning and his allies, soft drinks are not a unique cause of obesity. Soda provides just 7 percent of our daily calories according to recent government data.

It is unlikely the revenue from the proposed tax would even fully fund the proposed health initiative. Look no further than California’s lottery sales, which were originally meant to supplement education funds but have been used through the years to supplant general state expenditures. Government budgets are fungible, meaning lawmakers have the ability to defer the tax revenue to other more immediate needs.

Politicians should tighten their wallets before making Californians swallow this not so-sweet tax.