San Francisco supervisors today introduced a measure for the November ballot that would impose a 2 cents per ounce tax on sugary drinks sold in the city.
The proposal, sponsored by Supervisors Eric Mar, Scott Wiener, Malia Cohen, John Avalos and David Chiu, will need to be approved by a majority of the 11 supervisors to go on the Nov. 4 ballot.
It would then need approval by two-thirds of voters and would fund recreation and nutrition programs in the city.
The supervisors last November announced two separate proposals for the tax but have since merged the two plans into one measure, saying it targets the problems of obesity, diabetes and other health issues caused by high consumptions of sugary drinks like sodas and energy drinks.
The tax, which is expected to bring in more than $30 million if approved, would be imposed on the initial distributor of the beverage and would also apply to sales of concentrate, such as powders that are mixed with liquid to produce a sugary drink.
A beverage industry advocacy group has already come out in opposition to the proposed tax and said voters in other cities have soundly rejected similar proposals, pointing to a 2012 measure by the East Bay city of Richmond.
The industry group Californians for Food and Beverage Choice said in a statement, “Regressive beverage taxes that raise the cost of living for consumers and hurt local businesses are no way to improve community health.”
Dan McMenamin, Bay City News