Just over three months since voters in two California cities -- Richmond and El Monte -- flatly turned down soda taxes, a new Field Poll released Thursday found a majority of California voters say they would support a soda tax if the funds raised were devoted to children's health.
While only 40 percent of voters said they favor a sugar-sweetened beverage tax, that number jumped to 68 percent if the proceeds will benefit school nutrition and physical activity programs.
"Voters in general don’t trust taxes that aren’t earmarked. They prefer to see taxes linked to something beneficial," said Dr. Tony Iton, senior vice president of The California Endowment, which sponsored the poll. "People that are engaged in constructing policy ... should take heart in this poll and be able to look to it to construct subsequent measures for trying to engage the public support behind obesity prevention."
The Field Poll reported that support for such an earmarked tax was especially strong among Latinos (79 percent), Asian Americans (73 percent) and African Americans (70 percent).
"I think this poll shows that a campaign either statewide or locally in cities has an excellent chance," Wendel Brunner, Contra Costa County's director of public health, told the San Jose Mercury News.