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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Berkeley Becomes First City in Country to Pass Soda Tax; S.F.'s Soda Tax Fizzles

Posted By on Wed, Nov 5, 2014 at 10:48 AM

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Last night's election brought all sorts of news, good and bad, but lost in the Republican takeover and marijuana legalization may be the fact that Berkeley became the first city in the country to vote to tax sugary beverages. The measure passed with a little more than 75 percent of Berkeley citizens in favor of it.

Measure D will tax sugary beverages, including non-diet sodas, energy drinks, pre-sweetened teas, and other sweetened drinks at the rate of 1 cent an ounce. It would add up to about 68 cents for a two-liter bottle of soda. It would not apply to sweeteners like sugar, honey, and syrups sold at grocery stores; drinks and sweeteners sold to "very small retailers"; milk products; 100 percent juice; baby formula; alcohol, or drinks taken for medical reasons.

A similar proposition in San Francisco failed to get its required two-thirds majority vote, though nearly 55 percent of the city's population did vote for it.

Both measures faced heavy opposition from donations from Big Soda, who poured more than $10 million to fight the taxes in both San Francisco and Berkeley. 

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About The Author

Anna Roth

Anna Roth

Anna Roth is SF Weekly's former Food & Drink Editor and author of West Coast Road Eats: The Best Road Food From San Diego to the Canadian Border.


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