At a press conference in Sacramento yesterday, California State Sen. Dean Florez, D-Shafter, introduced legislation to tax soft drinks. In light of the hearing on this topic that Sen. Florez and a few of his colleagues held last fall, his proposal was expected. However, what failed to follow soda tax advocates’ game plan was the proposed rate a penny per teaspoon of sugar. Regardless of the rate, the fact remains that these taxes are simply discriminatory. In fact, over the past few days, we at Sip & Savor have shared a few notable viewpoints on discriminatory taxes like the one proposed in California yesterday.

The idea that a tax would work to solve a very complex issue like obesity is simply unreasonable and just won’t work. Reducing obesity requires a comprehensive approach - one that involves all members of our communities and educates people about the importance of balancing calories - not sound bite solutions.

We understand that the state of California is facing a troubling economic outlook, but there are better ways to reconcile budget shortfalls. Californians - as well as people across the country - are feeling the pinch of hard times, too. And they can’t afford to have government adding another discriminatory tax, raising the cost to their grocery bill.

But, we aren’t the only ones who think that this is a bad idea. Californians Against Food and Beverage Taxes, a growing coalition of concerned California individuals, associations and businesses that oppose taxes on food and beverages, issued this press release in reaction to the introduction. So check it out, and, if you live in California and think this proposed tax is simply the wrong thing at the wrong time, join the coalition! Tell Sacramento "no" to these taxes and e-mail your state senator and assembly member today.