A lawsuit filed on Monday claims that part of a 2018 California law that deprives charter cities of sales tax revenue if they impose taxes on sugary drinks is a violation of the state’s constitution and should not be enforced.
“Abusive laws like this one harm families and communities, and they should have no place in California or anyplace else,” stated Sarah de Guia, CEO of ChangeLab Solutions, which supports the lawsuit.
An article from Route Fifty details the battle between communities that have enacted sugary drink taxes and the beverage industry, which fought back with Assembly Bill 1838, a preemptive state law that blocks local taxes on sugary drinks until 2031 — the law at issue in Monday’s lawsuit.
“Abusive laws like this one harm families and communities, and they should have no place in California or anyplace else."
- Sarah de Guia, CEO of ChangeLab Solutions
The article describes the lawsuit as “one of the latest skirmishes around the country involving state laws that ’preempt’ local government authority,” also noting that the lawsuit “comes at a time when cities and counties nationwide are seeing tax and fee revenues eroded by the coronavirus pandemic, and as preemption conflicts have flared between state and local officials over policies meant to prevent the spread of the virus.”
Route Fifty quotes Kim Haddow, director of the Local Solutions Support Center, a group that raises awareness of preemption issues: “In the last 10 years we have seen a steep increase in the nationally coordinated, industry-driven use of preemption. . . . The misuse of preemption has grown dramatically.”
Read the full article to learn about how state law has preempted local control in California.
Explore more resources on how preemption of local laws can harm communities’ efforts to promote health equity.