Soda Tax

Nation’s First Soda Tax Passes In Berkeley, California

Big Soda took a loss on Election Day when voters in Berkeley, California approved a ballot measure that will place a small tax on sugary drinks. The measure, touted as Measure D, imposes a 1-cent-per-ounce general tax on sugar-sweetened beverages and sweeteners used to flavor drinks. It’s the first tax of its kind in the country.

While soda can be fine in small increments, experts say that drinking large amounts can pose many health risks, including cancer, decline of the kidney, and metabolic syndrome, which increases the likelihood of cardiovascular diseases. In passing the soda tax, Berkeley has done what dozens of cities and states have unsuccessfully attempted: impose a measure that hopes to both reduce consumption and raise revenue.

soda tax passes in berkeley california

Supporters say that’s cause for celebration, predicting that the passage of Measure D could have a domino effect as public health advocates and lawmakers work to address America’s obesity epidemic in other areas of the country.

“Yes, it’s Berkeley, yes it’s a liberal community with a big university, but there are lots of communities like that in America,” New York University professor Marion Nestle, a professor at New York University, told Politico. “Others will certainly do the same thing. If it could win in Berkeley it could win in a lot of places. Maybe it will pass in Austin. Maybe it will pass in Ithaca … other places are going to try this.”
Tuesday night’s victory also represents the culmination of a months-long battle during which the American Beverage Association raised more than $11 million to combat Measure D and Proposition E, a similar ballot measure in San Francisco that would divert revenue from taxes to nutrition and recreation programs in the San Francisco United School District. San Francisco’s measure failed.

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About Brian Fulmer

Brian is the owner of Crossroads Property Management Inc. ( He writes six blogs and has written two books. He also works with various missions around the world. His first love is Guatemala.
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