IF IT MOVES, TAX IT. IF IT DOESN’T MOVE, TAX IT. IF IT USED TO MOVE, TAX IT. Is California Planning A Statewide Sugar Tax?

In June, lawmakers in Sacramento, with the support of Gov. Brown, passed legislation, Assembly Bill 1838, that bans cities and counties from imposing any additional taxes on sodas and other sugary drinks for the next 12 years (the cities with taxes already in place are allowed keep them).

This would be joyous news if the motivation behind the bill had been to protect consumer sovereignty and personal freedom. Alas, the lawmakers who supported the bill did so for purely strategic reasons: they knew that if they didn’t pass the ban, a voter initiative coming this fall could have made it much harder to local governments to raise taxes in the future. In exchange for the soda tax ban, the voter initiative was withdrawn.

The new law, however, leaves open the possibility of establishing a statewide sugar tax, and many California legislators appear supportive of the idea. The detrimental economic impact of such a measure would be substantial, pushing Californians’ tax burden (already one of the highest in the nation) to new heights.

At least they haven’t put a tax on thingy.