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June 25, 2015

Contact: Sam Mahood
(916) 653-6575


Proposed Initiative Enters Circulation

Taxes on Bottled California Water. Labeling Requirements. Initiative Statute. 

SACRAMENTO – Secretary of State Alex Padilla today announced the proponent of a new initiative may begin collecting petition signatures.  

The Attorney General prepares the legal title and summary that is required to appear on initiative petitions. When the official language is complete, the Attorney General forwards it to the proponent and to the Secretary of State, and the initiative may be circulated for signatures. The Secretary of State then provides calendar deadlines to the proponent and to county elections officials.  The Attorney General’s official title and summary for the measure is as follows: 

TAXES ON BOTTLED CALIFORNIA WATER. LABELING REQUIREMENTS. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Imposes a five-cent excise tax on each ounce of bottled water containing any surface, underground, or municipal water collected in California. Applies tax revenues to fund construction and maintenance of water infrastructure projects including dams, levies, water treatment facilities, and desalination plants. Requires each container of bottled California water sold in California to bear a statement and specific logo on its label identifying the product as “not drought friendly.” Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: If the measure is able to be implemented, an uncertain, but likely small, net change in state revenues, with any bottled water excise tax revenues funding water infrastructure. Potential state costs of up to millions of dollars per year to administer the excise tax. Likely reduction in fee revenue and costs for some municipal water utilities. (15-0021.) 

The Secretary of State’s tracking number for this measure is 1684 and the Attorney General’s tracking number is 15-0021.  

The proponent for the measure, Louis J. Marinelli, must collect signatures of 365,880 registered voters (five percent of the total votes cast for governor in the November 2014 general election) in order to qualify it for the November 2016 ballot. The proponent has 180 days to circulate petitions for the measure, meaning the signatures must be submitted to county elections officials by December 21, 2015.  The proponent can be reached at No phone number was provided.