SoCal Lawmaker Calls for Tax on Candy, Other Snacks in California

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Snickers are seen in this file photo. (Credit: Jenn Harris / Los Angeles Times)

Californians might soon vote on whether to tax candy, potato chips and other snacks if lawmakers approve a new proposal from a Los Angeles legislator.

Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) wants her colleagues to support a ballot measure that would repeal a 1992 initiative that barred the state from taxing snacks. Taxing such goods could have brought in $1 billion in revenue last year, according to a state Department of Finance estimate .

The new tax dollars would provide money state lawmakers could use to eliminate sales taxes on other items. Last year, Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed bills that would have exempted those taxes on tampons and diapers, saying they would cost the state too much. Garcia had authored the tampon proposal.

“As I took a closer look at our tax code, it became apparent that while California’s policy is to tax luxury items, the reality is that it’s inconsistent,” Garcia said in a press release. “We tax necessities like tampons but exempt chocolate bars.”

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