Californian City Proposes Soda Tax, Drink Lobbyists Fight Back

El Monte's soda tax could raise $7 million per year

While the debate over sodas continues in New York City, on the West Coast, one California city is using sugary drinks to raise money. A proposed soda tax in El Monte, Calif., has drink lobbyists furious.

Officials in El Monte aren't necessarily proposing the tax for health reasons, however: they're proposing the tax because they're broke. The city, on the verge of a fiscal crisis, says that a soda tax could raise nearly $7 million per year in much needed revenue.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the city isn't the only California town to propose a simlar measure; Richmond, Calif., has also proposed a soda tax. This news, plus the sugary drink ban in New York City, has the soda industry worried that more towns will follow suit. Said Bob Achermann, executive director of the California/Nevada Soft Drink Association to the LA Times, "This tax is a sign of the times... City governments are looking for revenue. We think this is a misguided approach."