Californian restaurateurs and diners will have a new 1% surcharge on their bill. The tax will fund farmers in their attempt to incorporate environment-friendly practices.
As part of an initiative aimed at combating climate change, Californian restaurants will have the option to adhere to the Restore California Renewable Restaurant program and add a one percent surcharge to diners’ bills. The extra money will go to support environmentally friendly farming practices.
However, the surcharge is voluntary for both restaurants and customers. Restaurant patrons 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 US daily.
The move underscores how at the national level in the US, states will continue to drive the agenda for renewables and climate policies, despite the federal government under President Trump showing its inclination for the oil and gas industry.
California itself, from its dramatic push for EV’s to ambtious commitments on carbon emissions, is a prime xample of the way states are using their own economic clout to shape policy nationally.
The new program was created as a collaboration with the California Air Resources Board, the state’s Food and Agricultural Department and the Perennial Farming Initiative.
According to Anthony Myint, founder of the non-profit Perennial Farming Initiative responsible for the new program – has been adding a 3% carbon neutral surcharge for the past six months and raised nearly $20,000, according to local reports.
Myint, says it costs each diner, at an average restaurant, about 10 to 15 cents to offset the restaurant’s carbon use. He informed that about 25 restaurants around the world are contributing to carbon neutral programs. The new initiative will take it one step further and raise money for farmers to move away from chemical pesticides and adopt more sustainable practices.
“If every single restaurant had to do it, it would raise $1 billion annually,” Myint said to local media, also noting the surcharge could rise $10 million annually if just 1 in 100 California restaurants adopted the initiative.
California restaurant bills already subject to 7.25% tax that the restaurants. Some California restaurants also add surcharges between 3% and 4%, are also taxed by law. The 1% Climate Change Surcharge 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 its government site. 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 climate pollutants.