California's Fresno revives idea of soda tax

Could soda become liquid gold for cash-strapped counties in the central San Joaquin Valley?

A public-health advocacy group thinks so.

If the counties got a penny for every ounce of soda and sugary drinks bought in a year -- and 35% of adults and 68% of adolescents in Fresno County drink at least one soda a day -- it would generate about $77 million for Fresno, Kings, Madera and Tulare counties, according to a study made public today by the California Center for Public Health Advocacy.

The funds are based on money that would be generated from Assembly Bill 669, introduced in February by Bill Monning, D-Carmel. The legislation would place a 1-cent tax on each ounce of soda and sweetened drinks sold in the state. Annually, the tax would bring in $1.7 billion statewide, according to the center.

The bill is headed to the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee for a hearing scheduled for Monday.

Read the complete story at