Californians To See 1% Tax Added To Restaurant Bill To Fight Climate Change

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By Julianne Geiger

Some Californians will soon see a new 1% fee added to their restaurant check as the Restore California Renewable Restaurants look to help fight climate change by offsetting the carbon footprint of going out to eat.

The fee, to be optionally added to restaurant bills at the restaurant’s discretion, will be spent on carbon plans for farms and ranches.

Restaurant patrons would still have the option to not pay the 1% fee, but would have to ask to have it removed from their bill. For the remainder of the population who are either too sheepish to admit they are unwilling to help pay for the measures that would help farmers ……., they would have the “opportunity for eaters and buyers to share in land-based solutions,” California Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross said in a statement to San Francisco Chronicle.

The money under the program, referred to as “Restore California”, will be collected by the California Air Resources Board and used according to the Perennial Farming Initiative (PFI), whose mission is to “foster a renewable food system rooted in healthy soil”.

California restaurant bills already subject to 7.25% tax that the restaurants. Some California restaurants also add surcharges to recoup the costs associated with employee wages, healthcare, and sick leave—and these surcharges, which are between 3% and 4%, are also taxed by law.  The 1% fee to offset the carbon footprint of a meal would be in addition to the other taxes and surcharges.

California has a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030, according to ca.gov. Plans include increasing renewable electricity production to 50%, reducing petroleum use by 50% in vehicles, reducing greenhouse gas emissions from natural and working lands, and reducing short-lived climate pollutants.

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