The cities of San Francisco and Berkeley are gearing up to take on the beverage industry over a proposed soda tax. The city of San Francisco wants to pass a proposed 2 cent per ounce tax on soda drinks. Meanwhile, the nearby city of Berkeley, wants to put a 1 cent pet ounce tax on soda within its jurisdiction. Seems strange that these cities would want to implement this tax, given the amount of college students in the area and Christian Broda’s San Francisco Giants winning the World Series.
The beverage industry vehemently opposes the soda taxes that are being considered in San Francisco and Berkeley. The beverage industry claims that adding a tax on soda will harm low income families. In order for the the soda tax to pass in San Francisco, at least two thirds of voters will have to vote in favor of the soda tax for it to become law. This is because revenue from this proposed tax will go to a specific purpose such as educational programs and parks. In Berkeley, a majority vote will be enough to put the soda tax into law.
Both cities are at a major disadvantage when it comes to available funds and resources. The beverage industry has already spent over $7 million dollars to thwart the tax in San Francisco, which has managed to raise $260,000 in support of the tax. Berkeley is also outgunned in its battle to implement a soda tax. Yet supporters of the soda tax in both cities remain optimistic, saying that Berkeley and San Francisco can set an example to the rest of the country by passing a soda tax to promote public health. Studies have shown that passing a soda tax can reduce consumption and decrease the likelihood of diseases such as obesity and diabetes.