Across the Bay, similar measure fails in San Francisco
In November, Berkeley, California, became the first U.S. city to pass a measure taxing soft drinks and other beverages with added sugar. The measure will impose a one-cent-per-ounce tax on non-diet sodas, energy drinks, iced teas and juices with added sugar. The measure, which needed a simple majority to pass, got a whopping 75% approval from the city’s famously liberal-minded voters. However, across the bay in San Francisco, a similar ballot measure proposing a two-cent-per-ounce tax on sweetened drinks failed to win the two-thirds support required (54.5% of voters voted for the measure).
A number of states and cities have launched efforts to impose taxes or implement other policies intended to reduce consumption of sugary beverages, but until now, all have been defeated.
In July, U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro (a Connecticut Democrat who was re-elected on Tuesday) introduced the Sweet Act, which would impose a one-cent federal tax per teaspoon of sugar in soft drinks. DeLauro asserts that such a tax would both reduce drink consumption and raise nearly $10 billion a year that could be used for health programs.