| SAN FRANCISCO, July 23
SAN FRANCISCO, July 23 San Francisco city
leaders have approved a measure for the November ballot that
would place a two-cents-per-ounce municipal tax on sodas and
other sugary beverages, hoping to become the first major city to
successfully impose such a levy.
Other U.S. cities have tried and ultimately failed to tax
sugary drinks. Among them have been Richmond, California, across
the bay from San Francisco, where a penny-an-ounce tax was
defeated after a multimillion-dollar campaign by the American
San Francisco's plan, which was approved on Tuesday night by
a 6-4 vote of the board of supervisors, would be applied to any
nonalcoholic, sweetened drink with more than 25 calories per 12
"I think the nation is watching what happens here," said John
Maa, a surgeon on the board of directors at two organizations
that support the measure, San Francisco Medical Society and
American Heart Association. "It has been referred to as a last
But Roger Salazar a spokesperson with Coalition for an
Affordable City: Stop Unfair Beverages Taxes, a project of the
American Beverage Association, said that if the city wants to
educate people about health issues it should do so without
taxing the most needy.
"Taxing sugar sweetened beverages won't alter lifestyle,"
Salazar said. "All it really does is impact the very people that
are struggling to get by in San Francisco at a time when they
can least afford it."
San Francisco's office of economic analysis estimates that
the tax would bring in $35 to $54 million per year and, if it's
passed directly on to consumers, as expected, it could reduce
consumption by 31 percent.
Income from the tax would go towards funding city programs
to improve food access, health and nutrition.
(Reporting by Jennifer Baires; Editing by Dan Whitcomb and