Soda Tax Surfaces in San Francisco

A second and very similar tax on sugary beverages has been unveiled for the city of San Francisco.

November 21, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO – Not one but two — and very similar — proposals to tack on a 2-cents-per-ounce-tax on sugary beverages have been introduced for the city of San Francisco.

The SF Gate reports that on Monday, three weeks after Supervisor Scott Wiener unveiled a 2-cents-per-ounce sugary beverage tax, Supervisor Eric Mar announced his own tax along with Supervisors Malia Cohen and John Avalos. However, the supervisors say that they plan to put just one measure before voters next November.

The beverage industry, meanwhile, is ready for the fight. In a written statement, Californians for Food and Beverage Choice, a group of individuals, businesses and associations committed to the rights of Californians to choose what they purchase to eat and drink without government intrusion, noted that residents aren’t biting on adding new taxes to beverages.

“Californians have rejected beverage taxes like the one San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener proposes because such measures are unnecessary, wasteful distractions from serious policymaking,” according to the group’s website.

“Regressive beverage taxes that raise the cost of living for consumers and hurt local businesses are no way to improve community health, and have been soundly rejected by voters each time they have been proposed. Fortunately, across the country, there is evidence that the prevalence of obesity may have peaked, and progress is being made through collaborative measures to provide nutrition education, opportunities for physical activity and delivering diverse beverages choices that fit a healthy lifestyle,” notes the group.