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Two Beverage Taxes Introduced in San Francisco

Weeks ago, San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener announced plans to introduce a 2-cent per ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages in the City by the Bay. And not long after, another San Francisco Supervisor doubled-down with his own proposal to tax soda and other sweetened beverages sold within city limits.

The idea of taxing beverages in California is nothing new- it’s an old idea that has been proposed and rejected time and time again throughout the state. This year, a proposal to tax these types of beverages statewide fizzled in the Legislature. And last year, voters in two California cities, Richmond and El Monte, overwhelmingly rejected local beverage taxes at the polls

At 2-cents per ounce, these new proposals would clock in at twice the tax of the rejected Richmond and El Monte proposals. 

In order to qualify for the ballot in the November 2014 election, the proposals will require a majority vote from the Board of Supervisors. 

Instead of limiting consumer choice by taxing common grocery items, San Francisco elected officials should focus on issues important to the everyday lives of their constituents like homelessness, crime and the cost of living.

As much as these Supervisors claim that such a tax will fight obesity, we know the truth: that obesity is a complex issue that can't be solved by singling out one food or beverage. It just won't work.

California voters have said time and again that they don't want politicians telling them what to eat and drink. Supervisor Wiener's proposal is little more than a money grab that has failed several times across the state and country.


Tags: CA
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