May 20, 2011
The Honorable [FIRST NAME] [LAST NAME]
California State Senate
State Capitol, Room [#]
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: SB 653 (Steinberg) – Local taxation: counties: school districts: general authorization - OPPOSE
Dear Senator [LAST NAME]:
I am writing on behalf of [COMPANY NAME] to express our opposition to Senate Bill 653, which would significantly alter California’s tax structure by extending new taxing authority to counties and school districts. Currently, local governments are allowed to tax sales, property, utilities and hotel charges, subject to voter approval. Allowing local governments and school districts to propose additional taxes, including a tax on sweetened beverages, goes way beyond California’s current tax structure and would harm our industry.
The vending and beverage industry supports hundreds of thousands of jobs in California, adding billions in wages and benefits each year. Taxes paid by the vending and beverage industry businesses, suppliers and employees total in the billions annually for our state. Vending products are already subject to the sales tax, the beverage container CRV deposit and, in the case of plastic and glass containers, the Processing Fee, adding approximately 16% onto the price of the product. Allowing local governments and school districts the authority to impose a sweetened beverage tax, could add as much as 36 cents to a 12-ounce can of soda. Furthermore, a tax on sweetened beverages is a regressive tax. At a time when our state’s economy is facing a severe downturn adding these taxes is absolutely the wrong solution and will do more harm than good.
[INSERT COMPANY SPECIFIC AND/OR DISTRICT SPECIFIC INFORMATION].
For the reasons mentioned above, we respectfully request that you oppose SB 653.
cc: The Honorable Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, Author
Members, Senate Appropriations Committee
Mark McKenzie, Committee Consultant
Republican Committee Consultant
Office of Governor Jerry Brown